What Is a Straight Flush?
Straight flush is one of the strongest possible hands in high poker variations like Texas Hold’em, consisting of a five consecutive cards in the same suit.
For example a hand like 5s 6s 7s 8s 9s is a straight flush, as is 2h 3h 4h 5h 6h.
In a situation where two or more players have a straight flush, the winner is the player with the highest card in their hand, i.e. a straight flush to a Queen beats a straight flush to an eight, regardless of the suits.
One question that many players new to the game have is does straight flush beat four of a kind. While this confusion was caused in part by poker movies and the game lore, any straight flush in poker always beats any four of a kind hand.
This is to say, if you have a straight flush, the only hands you need to worry about are other, higher straight flushes, if they’re possible.
Straight Flush Odds
A straight flush is one of the strongest poker hands you can have in games like Hold’em and Omaha, second only to a royal flush, which is technically a straight flush, just the best one possible. So, with that knowledge, what are the actual odds of a straight flush, i.e. how likely are you to get this hand?
To start with, you need to be dealt a hand that can actually make a straight flush, i.e. it needs to be suited and connected. After that, the odds of flopping a straight flush depend on the type of hand as that dictates the number of possible combinations:
- With a hand like A2s that can make the straight flush just one way, odds of flopping a straight flush are just 0.005%.
- With the best of suited connectors, like 89s, the odds of flopping a straight flush are 0.02%
- Gapped suited connectors like 79s or T8s are about 0.015% to make a straight flush
Beyond this, if you have a straight flush draw on the flop, you can calculate your odds based on the number of outs.
For example, an open-ended straight flush draw can be completed with two cards, so from flop to river, you have about 8.4% to make your hand, which isn’t that bad at all. With a gutshot draw (i.e. needing just one specific card), your odds are about 4.3%.
While odds of a straight flush in poker aren’t very high, this is a type of hand that pretty much never loses, so it’s no surprise players chase after it, even when they aren’t supposed to do so.