Straight Flush Poker Hand

Straight Flushes

by Jesse Knight


Straight Flush
Straight Flush - A completed poker hand consisting of five sequentially ranked cards, all of them the same suit.

A straight flush is a suited sequential five card run of cards. It is the highest ranking natural poker hand, even besting four of a kind. In games where wild cards are used, it is the second highest ranking hand, second only to five of a kind. It is a rare and powerful hand to make, and even the most avid poker player will only occasionally be fortunate enough to complete one.

A straight flush is ranked by the value of its highest card. That means that the lowest straight flush is a five high straight flush, or 5-4-3-2-A of the same suit. A five high straight flush is often referred to as a “steel wheel,” or a “Straight Flush Wheel.” A straight flush that runs to a higher card, 6-5-4-3-2 for example (six high straight flush), is ranked higher and is considered a superior hand. The highest ranking straight flush possible is an ace high straight flush, or A-K-Q-J-T of the same suit. An ace high straight flush is commonly referred to as a “Royal Flush.”

You may notice that the ace played as a low card in the steel wheel, but as a high card in the royal flush. This is because in most poker games, the ace can play as either a high card or a low card, depending upon the situation. However, if it is played as a low card, as it is in a wheel or a steel wheel, it must be read and considered as a low card. That is why a five high flush is not read as an ace high flush, even though the hand contains an ace. On the other hand, a royal flush runs from the ten up to the ace. In this situation, the ace is considered as a high card because it is being used as such. This versatility is one of the reasons that the ace is such a powerful card in poker.

It is an accomplishment to make a straight flush, and many players are eager to proudly display it when they make one. It is certainly nice to make a straight flush, but it is also important to remember that a poker hand is only as valuable as the profit you can make from it. Sometimes you can win a massive pot with a straight flush. Other times, you may not even be able to get your opponents to put in a single bet. How much action you receive when you make a straight flush is based upon many things. A few of the factors that will most affect the size of the pot when you make a straight flush include, the content of your opponents’ hands, how well concealed your hand is, and how well both you and your opponents play your hands.

Since you will almost assuredly win the pot when you make a straight flush, your goal should be to build as large a pot as possible, so that you can maximize your return on the hand. How you choose to play the hand can have a dramatic effect on pot size. When you make a straight flush, you may need to conceal your hand by checking or slowplaying if someone bets into you. This not only conceals the true strength of your hand, but it also lures your opponent deeper into the hand, so that they might make something that they feel is worthy of a call.

Many times, if you bet and raise your straight flush too aggressively, your opponents will all muck their hands before you can get any money into the pot. Of course, each time that you check, you voluntarily give up an opportunity to get money into the pot. If you go too far in this direction, you will also end up with a pot with no money in it. Maximizing your return often calls for a middle strategy, where you check only with the intent to slowplay or check raise when your opponents decides to bet. This strategy requires a bet from your opponent to work. If you opponent refuses to bet when you check to him, you may have to abandon this strategy, and bet your hand.

It is especially exciting to make a straight flush in a poker room that offers a bad beat jackpot. This is because a straight flush usually qualifies as one of the two hands necessary to be present in order for a jackpot to hit. If another player holds a hand which meets the minimum house jackpot qualification, you will have a valid jackpot, and you will stand to win considerably more than the pot. A straight flush can also pay off if the casino offers a Monte Carlo Board instead of a jackpot for their poker players. A Monte Carlo Board is a list of bonuses awarded to players for making various difficult to complete, high ranking hands, like four of a kind or a straight flush. This promotion requires only one high ranking hand be made, rather than two competing high ranking hands as is the case with a jackpot promotion. Since only one hand is required, the Monte Carlo Board will hit much more frequently than a poker jackpot, but it will typically also pay off a much lower amount.

Usage: Gutshot Straight Flush, Straight Flush Draw, Four Of A Kind Beaten By A Straight Flush

Previous Poker Term: Straight
Next Poker Term: String Bet


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