STRAIGHT FLUSH-five sequentially ordered cards of the same suit. The value of the highest card determines the value of the straight flush. Therefore, the highest-ranked hand possible is a royal flush: - A, K, Q, J, 10 (all of the same suit).


The royal flush is a case of the straight flush. It can be formed 4 ways (one for each suit), giving it a probability of 0.000154% and odds of 649,739 : 1.

When ace-low straights and ace-low straight flushes are not counted, the probabilities of each are reduced: straights and straight flushes each become 9/10 as common as they otherwise would be. The 4 missed straight flushes become flushes and the 1,020 missed straights become no pair.

Note that since suits have no relative value in poker, two hands can be considered identical if one hand can be transformed into the other by swapping suits. For example, the hand 3♣ 7♣ 8♣ Q♠ A♠ is identical to 3♦ 7♦ 8♦ Q♥ A♥ because replacing all of the clubs in the first hand with diamonds and all of the spades with hearts produces the second hand. So eliminating identical hands that ignore relative suit values, there are only 134,459 distinct hands.

The number of distinct poker hands is even smaller. For example, 3♣ 7♣ 8♣ Q♠ A♠ and 3♦ 7♣ 8♦ Q♥ A♥ are not identical hands when just ignoring suit assignments because one hand has three suits, while the other hand has only two—that difference could affect the relative value of each hand when there are more cards to come. However, even though the hands are not identical from that perspective, they still form equivalent poker hands because each hand is an A-Q-8-7-3 high card hand. There are 7,462 distinct poker hands.

Poker Strategies - The Straight Flush Draw

7 of Spades 5 of Spades 5 of Diamonds Chances of a 6 of Spades=2% or 1/47 Chances of a 6 of Spades=2% or 1/46
3 0f Spades 4 of Spades      

How Can You Win?

Let's assume that there are 4 players in the hand including yourself. At the present time you have nothing except a couple of draws. Unless you make the draws or possibly match one of your hand cards you most certainly will lose the hand. Even if no one has made a pair, with 4 players you won't have high card.

For now, you can disregard the possibility that one of the other 3 players was dealt a pocket pair of fives. The odds against that or 221 to 3 or a little more than one percent. The same applies to a pocket pair of sevens. Consequently you will most probably win the hand by making a straight or any flush although there is a limited possibility that one of the other players might make a higher straight or flush

The chances that you are already beat by a full house or 4 of a kind is only 2.7%. The chance that you will make the "nuts" by the river are about 4.3 percent

The chances that you will make any flush out of the next two cards is 39%. The chances of making the inside straight draw whether or not it's the straight flush are about 13%. The chances or winning by the river appear to be 4.3% plus 39% plus 13% or 56.3 percent. But not yet! We have to subtract the odds of your losing...

There's an 18% chance that one of the other players started the hand with a pocket pair. There's a 9% chance that another 5 will hit giving the players full house. .09 * 18 = 1.62 So there's a 1.62 percent chance of losing that way. There's also a 13 percent chance that a player will hold a pocket pair and make a set by the river. making your lower possibilities lose to a full house. 13 + 1.62 + 2.7 = 17.32%

Consequently, the chances of winning the hand are 56.3-17.32 or about 40%

But wait! with 4 players in the pot you must consider the pot odds. You're being matched 3 to 1 on every bet so it's advisable to stay in and see the rest of the hand.

Next hand

Four of a Kind.