What is The Probability of Drawing Straight In Poker?


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Math is not the exclusive domain of mathematicians and scientists but impacts our everyday lives. One such interesting example is that of math in poker. Did you know that integrating math into your poker game will significantly enhance the ‘probability’ of you winning? Has your interest been piqued? This helps you understand things like finding fold equity, the probability of a straight in poker and the odds of flopping straight or other such hands. Read on to know more!

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How To Compute Poker Probabilities?

Poker involves a host of complex mathematical calculations based on probabilities. Good knowledge of numbers is essential for being a good poker player. A good place to begin would be to question the probability of getting a particular hand, like the odds of flopping straight. Though there are several online sites to do this for you, it would be interesting to learn how it is done actually.

A brief overview of the same is as follows –

· One must count the number of possible five-card hands that can be dealt from a standard deck of 52 cards, and then one must count the number of ways a particular type of poker hand can occur.

· The probability of being dealt any particular type of hand is equal to the number of ways it can occur divided by the total number of possible five-card hands.


Number of ways a particular hand can occur/ Possible five-card hands

· The possible five-card hands that one can be dealt with is calculated by using the combinations formula (i.e. the number of combinations of n objects taken r at a time)

nCr = n (n - 1) (n - 2) . . . (n - r + 1)/ r! = n! / r! (n - r)!

· For example, we have a standard deck of 52 cards (therefore, n = 52) and wish to arrange them in unordered groups of 5; therefore, r = 5. The number of combinations thus stands at 2598960 after applying the formula. Say we wish to count the number of ways in which a royal flush was to occur, i.e. a sequence of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. The number of ways to get a royal flush is 4 (as there are only 4 suits). Therefore, the probability of getting a royal flush is:4/ 2598960 =0.000 001 539

Rankings And Probability Of Poker Hands

To make life easy, a table has been prepared for reference with poker hands' rankings, frequency and probability. Peruse below –

Type of Hand Description No. of Ways in which these hands can occur Probability
Royal Flush Consists of 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit. 4 0.000002
Straight Flush A straight flush is five cards in sequential order belonging to the same suit. An example of a straight flush is 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, all diamonds. 36 0.000015
Four of a Kind Consists of four cards of the same denomination. For example, 4 kings and any other card. 624 0.000240
Full House Consists of three cards of one denomination and two cards of any another denomination. For example, holding three aces and two kings is a full house. 3744 0.001441
Flush All the five cards are from the same suit (excluding the royal and straight flushes). For example, 2, 3, 6, 9, J (all clubs) is a flush. 5108 0.001965
Straight The 5 cards are in sequential order, but need not belong to the same suit. For example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (of any suit) is a Straight. 10200 0.003925
Three of a Kind Consists of three cards of the same denomination. For example, a hand with three aces, one jack and one queen. 54912 0.021129
Two Pairs Consists of two sets/ pairs of cards. For example, 3, 3, Q, Q, 5. 123552 0.047539
One Pair Consists of one set/ pair of cards. For example, 10, 10, 4, 6, K. 1098240 0.422569
Nothing For example, 3, 6, 8, 9, K (at least two different suits). 1302540 0.501177

What Is A Straight In Poker?

A straight is a hand that contains five cards of sequential rank. These cards do not have to belong to the same suit. For example, seven-high straight - a hand with spades 7, club 6, heart 5, heart 4 and a diamond three or a combination of the like. A straight hand ranks sixth in the list, placing just above a three-of-a-kind.

The highest possible straight hand is a Broadway which consists of an ace, king, queen, jack and ten. The lowest straight hand is a Wheel or a Bicycle, i.e. a hand with ace, deuce, three, four and five.

What Is The Probability Of Straight In Poker?

In a standard card deck of 52 cards, 10200 straight hand combinations are possible, and 10 distinct ranks of straights can be seen. The probability of a straight-in poker is 0.003925.

The odds of flopping a straight in Texas Hold’em are as follows -

Pre-flop 0.39% (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck) (excl. royal and straight flushes)
Flop 1.30% (when holding 2 connected cards J-10 through 5-4)
Turn 16.90% (with an open-ended-straight-draw on flop)
River 17.20% (from an open-ended-straight-draw)

Please note: These numbers will vary with each game variant and must be accounted for while approaching the specific poker variant.

What Does This Mean For A Poker Player?

Straights are usually quite strong in a Texas Hold’em game, but their strength can vary greatly based on the board's texture. Straights are always the strongest hand to hold when there is no pair on the board, and the chances of having a flush or higher straight are slim.

For a player, an ordinary straight is a rare event. It only happens to occur once in every 255 deals. However, these numbers are not the sole determinants of success in poker – experience and intuition also play a huge role.


Luck is not the only factor determining your win and loss streaks in poker. It requires mastery over one’s emotions, tactfully played combinations, pre-calculated, mathematically sound strategies and a risk-taking attitude. Preparation and research will make a huge difference to your game. Please don’t take my word for it; go ahead and make that effort to witness the results!

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What is the probability of drawing a straight in poker?

  • The probability of drawing a straight depends on the number of outs and remaining cards. Generally, it's calculated using the formula: (Number of Outs / Remaining Cards)  100.

How many outs are needed for an open-ended straight draw?

  • An open-ended straight draw typically requires 8 outs, representing four cards on either side of the current hand.

Can a gutshot straight draw be successful with fewer outs?

  • Yes, a gutshot straight draw requires 4 outs, as only one specific card completes the straight, creating a narrower chance of success.

What's the probability of completing a straight on the turn or river?

  • On the turn, the probability is approximately (Number of Outs / 47)  100. On the river, it's (Number of Outs / 46)  100.

Should I always chase a straight draw based on probability alone?

  • No, consider factors like pot odds, opponent tendencies, and overall hand strength. Use probability as one factor in making informed decisions during a hand.
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