True to its name, a straight consists of five sequential cards in a game of poker. Straights are often strong enough to win in a poker showdown and rank sixth in the poker hand rankings.
A straight only loses to a royal flush, straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, or flush. Here’s an example of what a straight looks like:
The suits don’t matter when making a straight. A made straight with all cards of the same suit qualifies as a straight flush or royal flush, both of which stand higher in the poker hand rankings than the standard straight.
The ten-to-ace straight displayed above is sometimes referred to as a broadway straight. Other examples of straights would be hands like Q♦ J♠ T♦ 9♣ 8♥ and 8♥ 7♠ 6♦ 5♠ 4♣ .
If two or more straights go to showdown, the straight with the strongest high card wins. The ace can act as the high end of the broadway straight, as well as the low end of the ace-to-five straight. That hand, also known as the wheel, looks like A♠2♦3♥4♦5♣.
How Does A Straight Rank?
A straight beats three-of-a-kind, as well as every other hand below that in the poker hand rankings. You’ve drawn a strong hand if you make a straight, but straights are more common than four-of-a-kind, full houses, and flushes.
From a 52-card poker deck, you have an 0.395% probability (253.8-to-1 odds against) of making a straight from drawing five random cards. There are only ten distinct ways to make a straight, but all of the different suit combinations yield 10,200 total possible ways to make a straight (excluding straight flushes and royal flushes).
In Texas Hold’em, your chances of making a straight increase, as you’re trying to make the best five-card hand out of seven possible cards. With all five community cards on the board, you have a 4.62% chance of making a straight (20.6-to-1 odds against).