What Is a Straight in Poker: A Guide to Poker Hand Rankings

What is a straight in poker and is it even a strong hand? Who can I beat with a straight in my hand and who can beat me?

If you’re a poker beginner, you might be having a hard time answering these questions. Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ll not only break down what is a straight in poker, but also all hand rankings, probabilities, and any other questions you might have. Let’s get into it.

What Is a Straight in Poker?

Before we get into who and what you can take down with your hand, first let’s answer the question on everyone’s minds: What is a straight in poker?

A straight is a hand in poker that ranks higher than three of a kind but less than a flush. It is sixth on the list of poker hand rankings and it is made up of five sequential, consecutive cards.

An easy way to remember what is a straight in poker is that it consists of five cards in a row. That’s one of the biggest things that makes the hand easily recognizable.

The highest possible straight you can get, known as a Broadway, is A-K-Q-J-10 in different suits. The straight hand goes all the way down, and the lowest hand to make is A-2-3-4-5, a combo known as a Bicycle or Wheel.

An example of a Broadway would be: A♥-K♠-Q♣-J-10♠;

An example of the Bicycle or Wheel would be: A♣-2-3-4♠-5;

As you might have noticed by now, suits aren’t really important for a straight. The key thing to look for is the hand rank or the denomination.

How Does a Straight Hand Rank?

A traditional poker game utilizes a 52-card deck, which means that there are 10,200 potential straight hand combinations. Also, there are 10 distinct ranks of straight.

Another important thing to know is that every straight is ranked by its highest card. Here are some examples of straight hands to get you started:

  • Q♠-J-10-9♠-8♣
  • J-10♠-9-8♣-7
  • 10♣-9-8-7-6♠
  • 7-6♣-5♠-4♣-3

What Can a Straight Hand in Poker Beat?

A straight will beat every hand that’s below it in poker hand rankings, and it includes:

  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair
  • High Cards
  • Kickers

When it comes to winning the pot with a straight, it will be much easier than you think. All you have to consider is your opponents’ betting on all streets. Then, consider their odds of getting a hand better than your straight. If they appear to have made trips or two pair, they won’t be able to beat your straight. 

Whether or not you win with a straight will depend on the texture of the board, potential poker card combinations, and the betting patterns.

What Beats a Straight Hand?

Now that we’ve answered the question of what is a straight in poker, it’s time to turn our attention to the hands that beat it. Unfortunately, there are five hand rankings that beat a straight. These include:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush

Even though the straight sits somewhere in the middle of the poker hand rankings list, it’s still a pretty strong hand. That’s especially true in short-handed play, like four or six-handed action. What’s more, during short-handed play, you are more than twice as likely to make a straight than a flush, which is the next highest hand.

On a dry board, you can combine these probabilities with pot odds to get access to the best betting opportunities. With a solid bet, you can come out on top, even if you get a straight or a straight draw.

With that said, you should be careful of opponents who could be closing in on a straight flush. Even though the chances of them catching a straight flush, balancing all of the odds in situations like these is going to be a key part of any strategy.

Poker Hand Probabilities

To help you better place the straight in the poker hand rankings chart, here is a complete list of probabilities and odds:

Poker Hand Count Odds Probabilities 
Royal Flush 4 1 / 649,739 0.000154%
Straight Flush 40 1 / 72,192 0.00139%
Four of Kind 624 1 / 4,165 0.0240%
Full House 3,744 1 / 693.17 0.1441%
Flush 5,108 1 / 508.8 0.1965%
Straight 10,200 1 / 253.8 0.3925%
Three of a Kind 54,912 1 / 46.33 2.1128%
Two Pair 123,552 1 / 20.0 4.7539%
One Pair 1,098,240 1 / 1.366 42.2569%
High Card 1,302,540 1 / 0.995 50.1177%


To Sum Up: What Is a Straight in Poker

We hope to have answered the question of what is a straight in poker for you and where it stands in the poker hand rankings list. If you’re still a beginner and need more helpful tips and tricks to get started on your poker journey, make sure to check out the Tony G blog. There, you’ll be able to find guides, strategies, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 What is a straight in poker?

A straight is a poker hand that represents any five consecutive cards of different suits. Depending on its position, the Ace can be either high or low, i.e. A-K-Q-J-10 or A-2-3-4-5.

#2 Is a straight a strong hand in poker?

The straight is the sixth strongest hand in poker. Directly above it is the flush and below it is three of a kind. The overall ranking of a straight in poker still makes it a strong hand on the river in Texas Hold’Em.

#3 What is a wraparound straight?

In the wraparound straight, the Ace isn’t high or low, rather it’s in the middle of the sequence, e.g. Q-K-A-2-3. For wraparound straights, the Ace serves as a bridge. They are not legal holdings in most poker variants or casinos, both online and live. However, there are certain exceptions to using a wraparound straight. It can be allowed for at-home plays but all players should agree on it beforehand.

#4 What is a straight draw?

A straight draw is formed when a player has four of the five cards they need to make a straight. It can be formed using either one hole card with three community cards or two hole and two community card.

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