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Does a Flush Beat a Straight in Poker?

In the thrilling world of poker, where skill, strategy, and a dash of luck converge, players are constantly seeking to create winning hands. With numerous hand combinations possible, poker aficionados often find themselves debating the hierarchy of hands and their respective rankings. One particular question that frequently arises is whether a flush beats a straight. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the rules of poker, explore the significance of different hand rankings, and ultimately resolve the debate surrounding the showdown between a flush and a straight.

Understanding Poker Hand Rankings

Before diving into the specifics of a flush versus a straight, let’s establish a fundamental understanding of poker hand rankings. Poker is typically played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and players strive to make the best five-card hand possible.

The hierarchy of poker hands, in descending order of value, is as follows:

  • Royal Flush: The highest-ranking hand in poker, consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit, with the highest-ranking card determining the winner in case of a tie.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, accompanied by a fifth card as the kicker.
  • Full House: Three cards of the same rank paired with a pair of cards of another rank.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit, with the highest-ranked card within the flush deciding the winner.
  • Straight: Five consecutive cards of any suit, with the highest card in the sequence determining the winner in case of a tie.
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank, with two unrelated cards.
  • Two Pair: Two pairs of cards of the same rank, along with an unrelated fifth card, with the highest-ranked pair deciding the winner in case of a tie.
  • One Pair: A single pair of cards of the same rank, along with three unrelated cards, with the highest-ranked pair determining the winner in case of a tie.
  • High Card: The lowest-ranking hand, determined solely by the highest-ranked card in the player’s hand, with subsequent cards considered in case of a tie.

Each hand category is determined by the rarity and strength of the hand’s composition. While a royal flush is the pinnacle of poker hands, a high card holds the lowest value. Now that we have a basic understanding of the hand rankings, let’s explore the showdown between a flush and a straight.

The Flush and Its Strength

A flush is a poker hand that consists of five cards of the same suit, irrespective of their numerical order. For instance, if a player holds the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of hearts, they would possess a flush. It’s important to note that the specific order of the cards within a flush has no bearing on its value; all that matters is that they belong to the same suit.

A flush is considered a formidable hand due to its relatively high probability of occurrence and its potential to defeat lower-ranked hands. When multiple players have a flush, the one with the highest-ranking flush based on the card’s face value prevails. In the event of a tie, where two or more players have the same highest-ranking flush, the pot is split between them.

The Strength of a Straight

A straight, on the other hand, consists of five consecutive cards of any suit. For example, a hand containing the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of mixed suits would constitute a straight. Just like a flush, the face value of the cards within a straight is essential, but their suit is irrelevant.

Similar to a flush, a straight carries considerable weight in the hierarchy of poker hands. It is valued higher than three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and high card. However, a straight is outranked by a flush, meaning that if a player has both a straight and a flush, the flush will always triumph.


In the debate between a flush and a straight, the flush reigns supreme. While both hands are formidable and possess considerable strength, the rules of poker establish the flush as the higher-ranking hand. A flush’s uniformity of suit trumps the numerical sequence of a straight.

As avid poker players know, understanding the hierarchy of hands is vital for success at the tables. Whether you’re playing in a friendly home game or competing in high-stakes tournaments, knowing the ranking of hands, including the supremacy of a flush over a straight, is essential.

So, the next time you find yourself contemplating a flush or a straight, you can rest assured that the flush will always hold the upper hand. Let the debate be settled, and may your poker hands be filled with flushes and straights that lead you to victory on the felt!