Royal Flush

Poker Hand Ranking

by Jesse Knight


Royal Flush
Royal Flush – The highest possible hand in a poker game without wild cards, A-K-Q-J-T of the same suit.

A Royal Flush is the highest possible straight flush, an Ace high straight flush. It is composed of A-K-Q-J-T, all of the same suit. It is the highest possible hand in most poker games in which wild cards are not used. In games where wild cards are in play, five of a kind beats a Royal Flush. In this type of game, a Royal Flush that is completed without wild cards is referred to as a “natural royal flush.”A Royal Flush is frequently referred to as a “Royal.”

A Royal is a very rare and difficult hand to complete. In a seven card poker game like Hold’em or Seven Card Stud, you will be dealt a royal flush once every 30,940 hands. This means that on any given hand you have a 0.003232% of being dealt a Royal Flush. Also consider that during the course of play you may muck some of these Royals because you will not be playing every hand all the way to the river. This means that you will actually make a Royal even more infrequently. Of course, if you are playing in a game with wild cards, your odds for hitting a Royal Flush increase. As the number of wild cards in play increase, so do the odds of hitting a Royal.

Because a Royal Flush is such a rare and special hand to complete, it often plays a role in casino poker promotions. Some poker rooms will give you a logoed jacket, hat, or some other swag upon completing a Royal. In addition to this it can also be a jackpot hand if the casino you are playing in offers either a bad beat jackpot or a Monte Carlo board. A bad beat jackpot occurs when a player takes an astronomically rare and awful beat, the exact terms of which vary from casino to casino, and are dictated in the house rules. These terms are known as the “jackpot qualifier.” Typically, the qualifier for a bad beat jackpot is either aces full of something beaten by four of a kind or better, or simply four of a kind or better beaten. Since a Royal Flush is the highest possible poker hand, it can be one of the hands that hit the bad beat jackpot, making it even more exciting to complete.

Some casinos offer a Monte Carlo Board either instead of or in addition to a bad beat jackpot. A Monte Carlo Board is a jackpot promotion in which players are awarded cash prizes for making difficult to complete hands, typically four of a kind or better. Each possible four of a kind and straight flush is awarded a cash prize. Sometimes these cash prizes are progressive, which means that they increase daily until they are hit, and then are reset with a seed amount. Usually the royal Flush pays more than the other hands on the board. Typically, the prizes on the Monte Carlo Board are smaller than the bad beat jackpot, but they only require one strong hand to hit, rather than two strong hands at the same time.

In most casino poker games, the different suits are considered equally when ranking hands. If two hands are otherwise equally ranked, yet contain different suits, then the hand will be considered to be of the same rank, and the difference in suits will be ignored. For example, if two players in a Seven Card Stud game both make Royal Flushes in different suits, they would both have the same hand and would chop the pot. In a Seven Card Stud game, it is very rare for two players to make identical flushes or straight flushes during the same hand, so the situation rarely arises. In a flop game where community cards are used, like Hold’em, it is not possible for two or more players to make the same flush or straight flush, so the situation never arises. In some of the more exotic home games, suits may be the basis for hand rankings, but it is the exception rather than the rule.

Although suits are not typically considered when ranking hands in casino poker games, there is a natural, historical ranking of the suits. The traditional ranking of the suits, from low to high, is clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. Some casinos use this ranking for other purposes, like extra chip distribution, table breaking order or seat reassignment during tournament play, and other areas where a random determinant is needed.

Because spades are technically the highest ranking suit, there is a special cultural attachment to a Royal Flush completed in spades. This is why a Royal Flush is frequently depicted as being in spades in popular culture. It can represent power, strength, wealth, and exceptionalism.

Usage: Spade Royal, Flopped A Royal Flush, Royal Flush Probability Texas Holdem

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