What Is A Straight In Poker?
What Is A Straight In Poker?
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A straight is one of the hands in poker that ranks higher than three of a kind but less than a flush. In the game of poker, there are 10 hands with a straight ranking sixth. A hand is formed from a set of 5 playing cards. Each hand has a rank which when compared with other hands on the table is used to determine the winner of the pot.
List of Poker Hands
The list of poker hands ranging from strongest to weakest is shown below.
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card
The straight is found in the middle of the poker hands rank. Five other hands rank higher than a straight. However, in certain games, the straight might be the strongest hand on the table though this might not be a frequent occurrence. A straight is a fairly strong hand in Texas Hold’em poker.
What Is A Straight?
A straight is a poker hand consisting of 5 cards in sequential order from different suits. Simply put, a straight is a hand consisting of 5 five cards that rank sequentially. For example, a hand of 5♠ 6♠ 7♠ 8♣ 9♣ consisting of cards from multiple suits forms a straight.
Examples of a Straight in Poker
When determining a straight, the different suits forming the hand do not matter. Examples of a straight are;
- 2♦ 3♣ 4♠ 5♥ 6♥
- 3♥ 4♥ 5♠ 6♠ 7♠
- 4♠ 5♦ 6♣ 7♥ 8♦
- 5♦ 6♣ 7♥ 8♥ 9♣
- 6♣ 7♣ 8♦ 9♥ 10♠
- 7♣ 8♠ 9♥ 10♥ J♣
- 8♦ 9♦ 10♦ J♥ Q♣
- 9♣ 10♠ J♥ Q♦ K♠
- 10♠ J♦ Q♠ K♣ A♥
- 7♦ 8♦ 9♥ 10♥ J♥
From the examples listed above, it is clear that what determines a straight is the sequential ranking of the cards and not the suit the card belongs to.
When a straight is formed from all cards of the same suit the hand is called a straight flush. For example, 7♥ 8♥ 9♥ 10♥ J♥ is a straight flush of hearts. A straight flush is not commonly seen and it is the second-highest-ranking hand in poker.
How Is A Straight Formed?
A straight like all the other poker hands is formed from a set of five playing cards. For hold’em games that involve the use of community cards, a hand can either be formed with 3, 4, or all 5 of the community cards. The most common examples of hold’em games are Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
Simply put, for poker games involving community cards, a straight is formed from either the combination of some of the community cards with the player’s cards or all of the community cards.
In a Texas Hold’em game, each player is dealt 2 cards face down called the hole cards while 5 community cards are dealt face up in 3 different stages (the flop, the turn, and the river). A straight can be formed by either;
- 2 hole cards and 3 community cards
- 1 hole card and 4 community cards
- All 5 community cards
Summarily, a straight is formed from a set of 5 playing cards. For hold’em games, a straight can be formed from a combination of hole cards and community cards. In rare instances, the five community cards form a straight.
How Does A Straight Hand Rank?
A straight is a fairly strong hand in poker and sometimes strong enough to win the pot. A straight is the sixth-best poker hand possible ranking above three of a kind and below a flush. In a poker game, more than one player can form a straight. What determines who has the stronger hand is the strength of the straight.
The strength of a straight is determined by the rank of the highest card. For instance,
Player 1 – 7♦ 8♥ 9♠ 10♣ J♦
Player 2 – 8♥ 9♦ 10♥ J♠ Q♣
Player 3 – 5♠ 6♣ 7♦ 8♥ 9♠
Player 4 – 9♠ 10♣ J♣ Q♦ K♥
From the example shown above, all players have different straight hands with player 4 having the strongest hand and player 3 having the weakest hand. The strength of each player’s straight hand from strongest to weakest is player 4, player 2, player 1, and player 3. The strength of each straight hand is determined by the highest-ranking card. Player 1 highest rank card is a Jack, player 2 a Queen, player 3 a 9, and player 4 a King.
In this scenario, the highest-ranking card is the King. A card ranks from Ace being the strongest to 2 being the weakest card. The ranking of each card from strongest to weakest is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2.
The ace card can act as the low end as well as the high end depending on its position. This means that the ace can either serve as the highest-ranking card or the lowest-ranking card in a straight. In a five-high straight the ace serves as the low end while in an ace-high straight, the ace serves as the high end.
A♣ 2♦ 3♣ 4♥ 5♠ – five-high straight
10♦ J♣ Q♦ K♥ A♣ – ace-high straight
In a five-high straight, 5 is the highest ranking card as the ace serves as the low end while in an ace-high straight, the ace is the highest ranking card while 10 is the low end.
In any poker game with a 52-card deck, there are 10,200 possible straight combinations with ace-high straight ranking as the highest possible straight in any poker game.
The highest-ranking straight hand is the ace-high straight. No other straight hand beats the ace-high straight.
When using community cards to form a straight, consider that another player might have formed a straight or a higher-ranking hand. The likelihood of winning with a straight is increased by the rank of the high card. For a player forming a straight with 2 hole cards and 3 community cards, the chance of winning with the hand is increased if one of the hole cards is the high-end card.
If two players have a straight with the same strength (same highest ranking card), both players win the pot and the pot is divided equally between both players.
Poker Straights Probabilities
While considering different suit combinations, there are 10,200 straight hand possibilities that may be obtained when drawing five cards at random from a typical 52-card deck.
Without taking the suits into account while drawing a straight, the deck produces 10 distinct ways to draw a straight in poker. The probability of landing a straight in a 7-card game is 4.62%.
In a Texas Hold’em game, making the best five-card hand out of a total of seven cards is the goal of every player on the table. In Texas Hold’em poker, the probability of drawing a straight in preflop is 0.3925%. For the Texas Hold’em variant of poker, the probability of drawing a straight is summarized in the table below.
|Number of straight hand possibilities (factoring different suit combinations)||Number of straight hand possibilities (not factoring different suits)||Probability of drawing a straight (when all five community cards are on the board)||Probability of drawing a straight in preflop|
Is Straight A Strong Hand In Poker?
A straight is the sixth-ranking hand in poker ranking below five other hands and above four hands. The position of a straight in the poker ranking list is a fairly strong one. The probability of drawing a straight is higher than the probability of drawing a flush and other hands that rank above a straight. Though a straight ranks lower than a flush, a full house, four of a kind, a straight flush, and a royal flush it has been used to win poker games due to its strength and odds as compared to the hands ranking above it.
What Beats A Straight In Poker?
A straight is beaten by the five hands that rank above it in the poker hand rankings. Irrespective of the strength of a straight it loses to a flush, a full house, four of a kind, a straight flush, and a royal flush.
Though a straight is beaten by five other hands ranking above it, it remains a fairly strong hand as the odds of landing any of the hands ranking above it is not as high as landing a straight.
What Hands Can A Straight Beat?
A straight beat all other hands that rank below it in the poker hand rankings. The hands a straight beat are three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card.
The key to beating other hands with a straight is to consider the betting pattern of other players seated on the table and calculate their odds of forming a hand that ranks higher than a straight.
What Straight Is The Strongest?
The ace-high straight is the strongest straight hand.
The strength of a straight is determined by the highest-ranking card. Of the 10,200 straight possibilities and 10 straight ranks in a 52-card deck, the ace-high straight (10♦ J♣ Q♦ K♥ A♣) is the highest-ranking straight hand in a game of poker. In an ace-high straight the ace serves as the highest-ranking card and is unbeaten by other straight hands.
Does Two Pair Beat A Straight?
A two-pair is one of the lowest-ranking hands in poker. It ranks above one pair but below three of a kind while a straight ranks above three of a kind but below a flush. Two pair does not beat a straight in poker. A hand with a two pair is only stronger than one pair and a high card. A straight ranks well above a two pair.
What Is A Wraparound Straight/Is It Legal?
In a wraparound straight, the ace is found in the middle of the card sequence and serves as the bridge. For example, Q♥ K♣ A♠ 2♥ 3♣. In standard poker games, the ace serves as either the high-end or low-end. For wraparound straights, the ace serves as the bridge.
Wraparound straight is found among home players and is not legal in standard poker games. To avoid being a fish when playing in a casino do not use a wraparound straight. The Q♥ K♣ A♠ 2♥ 3♣ wraparound straight is not a straight but an ace-high card.
What Is A Straight Draw?
A straight draw is formed when a player has four of the five cards needed to form a straight. A straight draw can be formed from either 2 hole cards and 2 community cards or 1 hole card and 3 community cards. The two types of straight draw are the open-ended straight draw and the inside straight draw. Open-ended straight draws are more valuable than inside straight draws.
A straight is one of the hands in poker that ranks sixth on the list and is formed from five playing cards. It can be beaten by a flush, a full house, four of a kind, a straight flush, and a royal flush. A straight beats three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high end. The probability of drawing in a straight in a Texas Hold’em game is 0.3925% (0.003925). The strength of a straight is determined by the highest ranking card with the ace-high straight being the strongest possible straight.
Wraparound straight is not legal and is only found in home games. A straight consisting of all cards from the same suit is a straight flush and is the second highest ranking hand in poker. The probability of drawing a straight is higher than the probability of drawing a flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, or royal flush. This makes the straight rank fairly strong in poker (most especially Texas Hold’em).