# What is a Royal Flush in Poker?

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Based on the fact that you’ll only hit one less than once in every 649,000 hands, it’s important to know what a royal flush is. Plus, what to do when you get one.

## What is a Royal Flush?

A royal flush is the best hand you can make in poker. It’s made up of five cards, and it’s a combination of a flush and a straight. We’ll break down the nuances of this regal hand as we progress through this guide.

It’s an extremely rare poker hand. Is a royal flush better than a full house? Yes! Is it better than quads? Yes! There isn’t a single hand that bets a royal flush unless you’re playing specific variants.

Let’s take a look at what the top-ranking straight flush in poker looks like.

### Examples

What is a royal flush in poker when you lay out all the cards? Just so you don’t mistake this hand for a standard flush, here are the four possible royal flushes you can make in poker:

• 10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦ A♦
• 10♠ J♠ Q♠ K♠ A♠
• 10♣ J♣ Q♣ K♣ A♣
• 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ A♥

## Where Does a Royal Flush Hand Rank?

A royal flush ranks top of the poker tree in terms of five-card hands. There are exceptions to this rule when it comes to split-pot and lowball games.

However, the majority of poker variants use high-hand rankings, and royal flushes sit at the top of the pile. The table below shows the hand rankings in poker and what they mean.

 Poker Hand Description Example Royal Flush A straight from 10 to ace with all cards of a matching suit 10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦ A♦ Straight Flush A straight with cards of a matching suit 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ 8♥ 9♥ Four of a Kind Four cards of the same value A♦ A♥ A♠ A♣ X Full House One pair and one set K♦ K♥ 4♦ 4♠ 4♣ Flush Any five cards of the same suit 5♣ 9♣ 10♣ K♣ J♣ Straight Five cards in sequential order, but without matching suits 2♣ 3♦ 4♥ 5♥ 6♠ Three of a Kind (or a Set of Trips) Three cards of the same value A♦ A♥ A♠ X X Two Pair A pair plus another different pair A♠ A♥ 6♣ 6♠ X Pair (or Two of a Kind) Two cards of the same value J♣ J♠ X X X High Card A hand with no other value than that of its highest card K♣ J♠ 2♣ 8♥ 6♠

## Difference between a Royal Flush and a Flush in Poker

A flush in poker consists of five cards that share the same suit. For example, A♠ 3♠ 7♠ 9♠ J♠ is classed as a flush because your hand contains five spades. So what is a royal flush? A royal flush is a type of flush.

Technically, it’s a straight flush, which is the best type of flush you can make. What’s a straight flush? A straight flush is five cards of the same suit in sequential order.

Put simply, it’s a run of suited cards. For example, 3♥ 4♥ 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ is a straight flush because the cards are all hearts and they’re in sequential order (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

So, what is a royal flush in poker? A royal flush is the best straight flush you can make because it has the highest run of sequential cards (10, J, Q, K, A). That makes a royal flush significantly better than a flush, a straight, and a straight flush.

## What Beats a Royal Flush in Poker?

Nothing beats a royal flush, it’s up to you not to ruin your chances of raking in the casino chips. Play sensibly and you should win. Getting a royal flush isn’t an everyday occurrence though, making landing the hand extra special.

## What are the Odds of Getting a Royal Flush?

The odds against making a royal flush with five cards is once every 649,739 hands. Expressed in a different way, this means you’ve got a 0.000154% chance of making a flush with five cards.

If you were dealt 20 hands of poker every day for a year, then this would only amount to 7300 hands per year. In 89 years, you should only expect to see one royal flush

We get this result by looking at the number of ways you can make a royal flush and dividing it by the number of different five-card hands you can make in poker.

• The number of ways to make a royal flush in poker = 4
• The number of different five-card hands you can make in poker = 2,598,960
• Four royal flushes every 2,598,960 hands

### What are the Odds of Getting a Royal Flush in Hold’em vs. Other Poker Variants?

The odds of getting a royal flush in Texas Hold’em are the same as any other variant if we’re looking at pre-flop scenarios.

However, because there are community cards involved, the odds of getting a royal flush in Hold’em change throughout the course of a hand.

As with Five Card Draw and Seven Card Stud, the odds of hitting a royal flush before the flop are 0.000154%. Since we’re looking at the odds before any community cards are dealt, let’s also look at the hand in its entirety.

If we assume a hand always plays down to the river, we’ll have seven cards (two hole cards + seven community cards) to make a royal flush. This gives us a 1 in 30,940 (0.00323%) chance of making a royal flush in Hold’em.

Diving deeper into the numbers, here are the odds of getting a royal flush on the flop, turn, and river in Hold’em. For comparison, we’ve added Omaha to the table. You get four hole cards in Omaha, which gives you more ways to make a royal flush.

 Odds Royal Flush in Hold’em Royal Flush in Omaha Flop Odds 0.005% 0.0058% Turn Odds 4.256% 4.444% River Odds 4.348% 4.545%

The next time you ask, what is a royal flush, remember that it’s the best hand in poker, and you won’t see it very often. In fact, some people will play games at the best online poker sites for years and never see a royal flush.

## How to Use a Royal Flush in Poker

The obvious tip for playing a royal flush in poker is to be aggressive and get as much money into the pot as possible. That is what you need to do, but we have to be more nuanced than this. We know the odds of a royal flush in poker are extremely high.

This tells us two things:

1. You won’t hit a royal flush very often (if ever), so it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to squander.
2. Your hand is so strong that you can’t scare off opponents who will definitely have something weaker.

Those are the nuances, so how do we ensure we achieve these goals?

The first thing you need to do is assess the table dynamics, which include your opponent’s tendencies. We can’t cover every angle, but here are a couple of common scenarios and how to handle them:

Scenario 1: You hit a royal flush against, and you’re facing a tight player. Your image is loose and aggressive.

This is the perfect situation to play fast. Your opponent will have a weaker hand. We know that. However, we also know they’re tight and, therefore, likely to have a lot of strong hands in their range.

We also know you’re seen as a loose player who bets a lot. That makes people more likely to call when you bet. So, in this scenario, playing fast and betting on every street should have a positive long-term EV.

Scenario 2: You hit a royal flush against, and you’re facing a loose player. Your image is tight and passive.

Loose players love to bet, bluff and put pressure on opponents. This fact is compounded by the fact you’re seen as a tight passive player. This means you’re someone who waits for good hands but tends to play them passively.

The assumption, therefore, is that you’ll be folding a lot. This gives a loose player the green light to be aggressive. You can take advantage of this with a royal flush by playing to expectations. That means calling on the flop and turn (if possible) and betting or check-raising on the river.

### Putting Your Skills into Practice

You should now what a royal flush in poker. That’s important, but it’s nothing more than a definition if you don’t know how to play a royal flush. The core poker strategy concept you need to keep in mind is table dynamics.

You need to put as much money as possible into the pot when you’ve got a royal flush because you’re not going to lose the pot. The way you do this is by reading the table and the players around you. Ascertain what makes opponents tick and how they perceive you, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting maximum value from a royal flush in poker.

## FAQs

### What happens if two players have a royal flush?

##### Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert
##### Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert

Daniel comes to Techopedia.com with a wealth of experience in the gambling sector. Over the last 15+ years, he’s written content for WPT Magazine, CardsChat, and Gambling.com. Daniel has also worked directly with many of the industry’s leading operators, including PokerStars, Betway, and Yggdrasil. If it’s about gambling, Daniel has covered it.