What is a Straight in Poker?

One of the reasons poker is so popular is that it is both entertaining and highly profitable, unlike many other gambling games. If you want to reaching a new level of skills in this game, which goes beyond the occasional poker night with your friends, start learning the basic strategies and know your way around the poker ranking hands.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the intricacies of a straight, one of the most popular hands in poker, the best tips and strategies involving this hand, and a general overview of all poker hands to give you a better idea of the existing hierarchy.

What Is a Straight?

A straight is a poker hand that consists of five cards in consecutive order that don’t belong to the same suit. As far as strength goes, a straight is a strong hand that ranks sixth in the poker hand ranking chart. Straight is easy to identify, even for beginners, as it refers to five sequential cards. It’s the order of the cards that determines the straight, not the suit of the card. 

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate what a straight hand may look like:

10♠, 9♥, 8♦, 7♥, 6♣

A♠, K♥, Q♦, J♥, 10♣

8♣, 7♥, 6♠, 5♥, 4♦

7♦, 8♦, 9♥, 10♥, J♥

2♦, 3♣, 4♠, 5♥, 6♥

Not all straights are alike. The strongest straight combination is Broadway and features the highest-ranking cards (Ace-King-Queen-Jack-Ten) in the deck. Here is what it looks like:

A♠, K♥, Q♠, J♣, 10♦

At the same time, straight also has weaker combinations. One of the weakest straight hands is called Bicycle (The Wheel) and looks like this:

A♦, 2♣, 3♠, 4♥, 5♥

If you have a straight with the cards of the same suit, congratulations! A straight flush is uncommon and is considered a very strong hand in poker.

7♣, 8♣, 9♣, 10♣, J♣

Poker Hands Ranking Chart

To understand where the straight belongs in the hierarchy of other poker hands, check a brief ranking of poker hands from the weakest to the strongest.

 Poker Hand  
10High CardA♦, 9♥, 8♦, 6♠, 3♣High card is the weakest poker hand, which means you don’t have any matching cards.
Probability: 50.1177%
Odds: 0.995:1
9One Pair10♦,10♠, Q♣, 7♦, 6♥This hand consists of two cards of the same rank. The other three cards should be of different ranks and suits.
Probability: 42.2569%
Odds: 1.37:1
8Two Pair10♠, 10♦, 5♣, 5♥, 2♥To form a two pair, you need two sets of cards: two cards should be of the same rank, two of another rank, and one card of a third rank.
Probability: 4.7539%
Odds: 20.0:1
7Three-of-a-Kind3♦, 3♠, 3♥, K♠, 8♥This hand contains three cards of the same rank, with the other two cards belonging to different ranks and suits.
Probability: 2.1128%
Odds: 46.3:1
6Straight6♣, 7♥,8♦, 9♥, 10♠To form a straight, you need five cards of sequential ranks that don’t belong to the same suit.
Probability: 0.3925%
Odds: 254:1
5FlushA♠, J♠, 10♠, 3♠, 2♠ To form a flush, you need five cards of the same suit that are not in sequence.
Probability: 0.1965%
Odds: 508:1
4Full HouseK♠, K♦, K♠, J♥, J♣To form a full house, you need three matching cards of the same rank and two matching cards of a different rank.
Probability: 0.1441%
Odds: 693:1
3Four-of-a-Kind7♠, 7♦, 7♣, 7♠, 10♥ This hand contains four cards of the same rank, with one card being of another rank.
Probability: 0.0240%
Odds: 4.164:1
2Straight Flush6♥, 7♥, 8♥, 9♥, 10♥To form a straight flush, you will need five consecutive cards in the same suit. This combination is highly uncommon.
Probability: 0.00139%
Odds: 72.192:1
1Royal Flush10♥, J♥, Q♥, K♥, A♥A royal flush is the strongest poker hand. Still, chances of getting a royal flush are extremely low, only 4 in 2,598,960.To form this hand, you will need 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. 
Probability: 0.000154%
Odds: 649.739:1

A straight is closer to the middle of the chart (ranks sixth) and is typically considered a strong hand.

So, a straight is:

  • stronger than three-of-a-kind, two-pair, one-pair, and a high card
  • weaker than royal flush, straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, and flush.

What Is the Probability of Getting a Straight in Poker?

In the standard deck of 52 cards, the total number of straight combinations is 10,200, with a 0.003925 probability of drawing a straight. Compared to other poker hands, getting a straight (sixth rank) is more probable than getting a flush (fifth rank), which has a probability of 0.0019654 and a total number of flush hand combinations of 5,108. If you play Texas Hold’em and five community cards are on the board, the probability of getting a straight will change to 4.62%.

Overall, a straight is a pretty strong hand in the Texas Hold’em game, but you need to watch out for a couple of contributing factors at play. If the chances of getting flush are low and there is no pair on the board, then straights are one of your best options.

Can You Win With a Straight?

Yes, straight is a pretty strong hand in poker, so you can certainly win the pot. Still, not all straights are the same, so if you have an ace-high straight, commonly known as Broadway (the Ace-King-Queen-Jack-Ten), you will have an opportunity to beat the other straights.

Are Poker Suits of Different Ranks?

Generally, no. There are four suits, clubs (♣), hearts (♥), spades (♠), and diamonds (♦), that have equal value in the majority of poker games. Still, in some games, suits will have different ranks if, for instance, two players have the same straights. In such cases, the highest-ranking suits are spades, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs.


A straight is the sixth-ranking poker hand that offers you a decent chance of winning the pot. Still, poker hands are just a part of this complex game. Becoming a better player requires mental acuity and a desire to learn more.

If you want to get more in-depth knowledge of poker strategies and gain a new appreciation for this intricate game, dedicate your time and energy to both studying gaming mechanics and applying the lessons learned in practice.