Straight Poker

 Straight Poker

Poker is among the most popular skill-based card games in the world. Poker is very popular in casinos, however, online poker is now gaining prominence due to its ease of playing. If you are new to poker, you should start by learning all the poker hand rankings.

On this page, we have provided detailed information regarding the straight poker hand.

What is a straight hand in poker?

The straight poker hand is fifth on the list of poker hand rankings. It is made of five sequential cards that are from different suits. Due to its nature, it is a very easy hand to identify. 

In a standard game of poker with a 52-card deck, there are around 10,200 possible combinations of straight poker hands. Each straight hand is ranked by its highest card. 

Depending on the combination, the A card can act as both the highest or lowest card. The highest straight combination is AKQJ10, also called Broadway. In this combination, A is the highest card. 

On the other hand, the lowest straight hand combination is A2345, also called the wheel or bicycle. In this poker hand, the A card is the lowest card. 

How is a straight hand ranked in poker?

As discussed above, each straight hand is ranked by its highest card. Thus, if the straight begins with a K card, it's called a King-high straight, and so on. 

Generally, a straight is a pretty strong hand in poker. However, its overall strength depends on the hands of other players, and whether any of the other players has a stronger hand.

Some examples of a straight poker hand are:

  • K♠Q♣J♦10♠9♦
  • Q♥J♥10♣9♠8♥
  • J♣10♦9♣8♠7♣
  • 10♦9♠8♦7♦6♦
  • 7♠6♦5♦4♦3♦

Among these hands, the highest poker hand is the first one, i.e., the King-high hand, followed by the queen-high straight and the Jack-high straight respectively.

How does a straight match up against other poker hands?

Though the overall strength of the straight poker hand is quite high, it lies in the middle of the poker hand ranking. Below, we’re providing an overview of the different poker hands, in decreased order of ranking:

  • Royal flush: It is the highest hand in a game of standard poker made from 10 to A cards in the same suit. For Ex. 10♣ J♣ Q♣ K♣ A
  • Straight flush: It is a combination of straight and flush poker hands, i.e., it is made from five consecutive cards in the same suit. Ex. 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ 9♣
  • Four of a kind: It is made from four cards of the same rank along with a kicker. Ex. A♠ A♣ A♦ A♥ 6♦
  • Full house: A full house is made from a three of a kind and a pair, i.e., three cards of the same rank and two cards from another rank. Ex. A♠ A♣ A♦ J♥ J♦
  • Flush: A flush is made from five cards of the same suit that are not in order. Ex. Q♣ 8♣ 6♣ 5♣ 3♣
  • Straight: A straight poker hand is made from five consecutive cards that are not in the same suit. Ex. A♠ K♣ Q♦ J♥ 10♦
  • Three of a kind: Three of a kind hand is made from three cards of the same rank and two kickers. Ex. A♠ A♣ A♦ K♥ J♦
  • Two pairs: This hand is made from two pairs of cards, along with a kicker card. Ex. A♠ A♣ K♦ K♥ J♦
  • One pair: This hand only has a single pair of cards with the same rank. Ex. A♠ A♣ Q♦ K♥ J♦
  • High card: This poker hand does not have any combinations. In this case, the highest ranked card is considered to be the hand rank. Ex. A♠ 5♣ 3♦ 7♥ 9♦

What is the probability of getting a straight hand in poker?

A straight is a very strong hand, especially in short-handed play, i.e., four-handed or six-handed action. Moreover, the probability of forming a straight poker hand is double that of a flush, its next highest hand in poker hand ranking. 

In straight poker and five-card draws, i.e., poker variants that do not have hole cards, the probability of forming a straight (excluding the royal and straight flushes) is around 0.3925% with 253.8:1 odds of appearing.

On the other hand, for Texas hold’em, the most popular variation of poker, the odds of a straight hand appearing are much higher. The probability of a straight hand, excluding the straight and royal flushes, appearing is around 4.62% with 20.6:1 odds of appearing. 

What is a straight draw?

A straight is not always the winning hand, but if you play it correctly, it can be. If you are a seasoned poker player, it would be easy for you to recognise a straight hand forming in a combination of your hole cards and community cards.

This situation is called a straight draw. Simply put, a straight draw is when a player has four cards that will form a straight and needs just one more. 

It will provide you more betting opportunities early in the game. However, you should always be wary of another player forming a straight flush or even just a higher straight. 

There are two common types of straight draws: open-ended straight draw and inside straight draw. An open-ended straight draw can only expand on one side, with eight outs. However, an inside straight has four outs on either end. It is more profitable to bet on an open-ended straight than an inside straight.

Straight Poker FAQs

What is a wrap around straight?

A wrap around straight combines the lower and higher straights with A card in the middle, for ex. J-Q-K-A-2, K-A-2-3-4, etc. These straights are generally not allowed in standard poker.

Is A-2-3-4-5 hand better than 2-3-4-5-6?

No. Though the A-2-3-4-5 hand contains an Ace, it is the lowest straight. This is because the rank of a straight is determined by its highest card, and a 6-high straight would beat a 5-high straight.

Why are wrap-around straights not allowed in standard poker?

In poker the Ace card is a corner card when part of a combination, i.e., it should occupy either a high or low position. Since the wrap-around straight does not follow this rule, it is not allowed in standard poker.

Do suits matter in ranking of straight poker?

No, straight poker ranking is done solely on the basis of card ranks, not their suits. However, if all the cards are of the same suit, then it would be a straight flush, which ranks higher than a straight poker hand.

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