The Straight Hand: The Poker Player’s Guide


On the official list of poker hands, a Straight ranks at position #5. This poker hand is made up of 5 different cards, in sequential order.

The word ‘Straight’ makes it easy to understand what a Straight is all about. This poker hand references 5 cards in consecutive order. It’s easy to identify a Straight, since the cards are in sequence.

Let’s take a look at the highest Straight that you can form: Ace-King-Queen-Jack-Ten. This hand goes by another name – Broadway – since it features all the biggest cards in poker at the same time. The lowest possible Straight is Ace-2-3-4-5. If you hit this hand in game of poker, it is known as a Bicycle, or The Wheel.

This is what Broadway looks like:


This is what a Bicycle, or The Wheel looks like:


There are two things you instantly notice about a Straight hand:

  1. The cards are in consecutive order (a.k.a. sequential order)
  2. The suits are irrelevant

Remember: A Straight hand is the name given to any 5 card hand featuring sequential cards. Since there are strong Straights and weak Straights, the strength of your straight hand determines how you fare against other players.

As with all other poker hand combinations such as a Straight Flush, a Full House, or 3 of a Kind, it’s the denomination of your cards that matters – not the suits.

Ranking Straight Hands in Poker

In a standard 52 card deck, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are an incredible 10,200 combinations of Straight hands. Plus, there are also 10 unique ranks of straights that you can form. Each straight hand is determined by its highest-ranking card. Then, it is determined by its second-highest ranking card, until the fifth and final card in the straight.

Below are several examples of Straight hand combinations that you can form:





The highest card in a 5-card Straight is an indicator of how strong your hand is. Remember, an Ace-high Straight – Broadway – is the best Straight you can form. In the above examples, a King-high Straight beats a Queen-high straight which beats a 9-high straight which beats a 7- high Straight.

Straight Hands vs Other Hands

On the poker hand rankings chart, a Straight weighs in at fifth position. Directly above a straight is a Flush poker hand. The best flush you can form is an Ace-high Flush. In a standard game of Texas Hold’em poker, a Straight is still a great hand to form.

There are several hands that rank beneath a Straight, notably Three of a Kind. This hand contains 3 cards of identical rank and two other cards. The best Three of a Kind hand that you can form is 3 Aces, known in poker lingo is Trip Aces.

Probabilities of Forming a Straight in Texas Hold’em & Pot Limit Omaha

Next, we’re going to look at the probabilities of forming a Straight at the Pre-Flop Stage, the Flop, the Turn, and the River. We will consider Texas Hold’em poker and Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) poker games.

Texas Holdem Poker Probabilities

Pre-Flop Stage

Probability of 0.39%

With 5 randomly drawn cards from a deck of 52 cards excluding Straight Flushes and Royal Flushes.

The Flop

Probability of 1.30%

When you’re holding 2 connected cards such as Jack-10 through 5-4

The Turn

Probability of 16.90%

When you form an open-ended Straight draw on the flop

The River

Probability of 17.20%

With open-ended straight draws

Pot Limit Omaha Poker (PLO) Probabilities

The Pre-Flop Stage

Probability of 0.39%

With 5 randomly drawn cards from a full deck of 52 cards, excluding Royal Flushes and Straight Flushes.

The Flop

Probability of 4.90%

When you’re holding 4 consecutively ranked cards from 4-5-6-7 through 8-9-10-Jack

The Turn

Probability of 17.78%

With open-ended Straight draws and 8 outs, e.g.: 4-5-Queen-Queen on a Flop containing 6-7-King.


Probability of 20%

On a Broadway draw with 9 outs. E.g.: 5-10-Jack-King on a Flop with 7-Queen-Ace


Probability of 26.67%

With a 12 out Straight draw for example 7-9-Jack-Queen with the flop containing 2-8-10


Probability of 28.89%

With 13 outs. For example, 5-6-8-9 with the flop of 4-7-King


Probability of 37.78%

With 17 outs, for example: 10-9-6-2 with the flop made up of 8-7-Ace


Probability of 44.44%

With 20 outs, for example: 10-9-6-5 with a flop of 8-7-2.

The River

Probability of 18.18%

With open-ended straight draws with 8 outs. For example: 4-5-Queen-Queen with a flop of 6-7-King


Probability of 20.45%

With 9 outs – an Inside Broadway Draw – for example: 5-10-Jack-King with a flop of 7-Queen-Ace


Probability of 27.27%

With 12 outs, for example: 7-9-Jack-Queen with a flop of 2-8-10


Probability of 29.55%

On a 13 card wrap draw for example: 5-6-8-9 with a flop made of 4-7-King


Probability of 38.63%

On a 17 card wrap draw for example: 10-9-6-2 with a flop of 8-7-Ace


Probability of 45.45%

With 20 outs for example: 10-9-6-5 and a flop of 8-7-2


That’s everything you need to know about forming a Straight hand in Texas Hold’em poker and Pot Limit Omaha. Let’s move onto the next ranking hand on our listing – Three of a Kind.

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