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What is a Royal Flush in Poker?

Poker is an age old-game of skill and strategy. A thorough understanding of the game rules backed by strategic approach and mental discipline work together to give a player an upper hand in Poker. However, years of strategy cannot match up to a hand that is unbeatable, i.e. the “Royal Flush”. This hand is technically known as the Royal Straight Flush.

The luckiest and the hardest to get, Royal Flush Poker is the most invincible poker hand that can beat any opponent hands down in this game. The Royal Flush probability is said to be 1 in almost 6,50,000 hands meaning most players will never hit a Royal Flush in their lifetimes.

So, what is the meaning of Royal Flush and how do you use it in a game of Poker? Let's find out.

What is a Royal Flush Poker Hand Ranking?

In a standard game of Poker, the Royal Flush Hand is the highest poker hand ranking. A straight is five cards in a sequential order, while a flush is five cards of the same suit. When you combine both, you get five consecutive cards of the same suit. This makes a 'Straight Flush'.

The Royal Flush Poker is the strongest Straight Flush that starts with an Ace as the highest card. This means it consists of the cards Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. This means it is the highest Straight Flush and is the rarest of all poker hands to get. Therefore, getting a Royal Flush in any poker game means a guaranteed win.

An example of a Royal Flush hand in Poker is A♥,K♥,Q♥,J♥,10♥.

Royal Flush Hand Probability in Texas Holdem Poker

The Probabilities of getting a Royal Flush Hand in Texas Holdem Poker is very low. There are numerous techniques employed to calculate its Royal Flush Poker probability. The Probabilities vary in the drawing styles during a hand. They are-

  • Pre Flop- 0.000154% (When drawn randomly from a deck of 52 cards)
  • By the Flop- 0.005% (By holding two suited cards between the Ace and the 10)
  • By the Turn- 4.256% (By holding a draw on the flop)
  • By the River- 4.348% (By holding a draw on the turn)

Royal Flush Poker Probability in Omaha Poker

The Probabilities for different drawing this hand in Pot Limit Omaha Poker in the four betting rounds are-

  • Pre Flop- 0.000154% (By drawing a random card from a deck of 52)
  • By the Flop- 0.0058% (By holding a TJxx with two suits)
  • By the Turn- 4.444% (By holding a Royal Flush Draw on the Flop)
  • By the River- 4.348% (By holding Royal Flush Draw on the Turn)

Royal Flush Poker Probability Table

Method (Royal Flush)Probability (%)
Seeing a flop with two suited broadways0.01
Catching Royal Flush Gutshot from flop to turn2.13
Catching Royal Flush open ender from flop to turn4.26
Catching Royal Flush Gutshot from turn to river2.17
Catching Royal Flush open ender from turn to river4.35
Catching Royal Flush Gutshot from flop to river4.30
Catching Royal Flush open ender from turn to river8.42
Odds of flopping a Straight Flush draw0.72

Calculating the Probability of Hitting the Hand

To get a Royal Straight flush that is Ace to 10, it is necessary to start the hand with two suited cards between 10 and Ace. Either way in this, it is still necessary to get precise 3 cards to make a Royal Flush Hand. This still reduces the chances to minimal.

However, drawing from a deck of 52 cards gives nearly no probability as there are precisely 19,600 varied hands that a player can get. The odds of getting this highest ranking hand is – exactly 1 in 19,600.

1/19,600 = 0.00005

This amounts to only 0.00005% probability, making it almost impossible for a player to get.

Since the chance of getting a Royal Flush is so low in a Pre Flop, or nearly impossible, another method gives it a slightly higher chance. It is called Straight Draw. In this method, only two possible cards falling ensure a Royal Flush Hand.

In this case, the chance increases to 141 times in 19000 possible draws. Thus, giving it a chance of 0.007 percent. However, this percentage is extremely low, and not just that, chances of this occurring are less than 1 percent of the time.

Hitting the Royal Flush post-flop in community card games of Poker creates a bigger probability and provides a realistic window for creating this Hand. The different methods of post-flop produce a number around 2.2 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Summing it Up

The four unique suits in a 52 card deck offer four possible ways to hit a Royal Flush hand. These four methods arise out of 2,598,960 unique five-card poker hands that can be made from a 52 card deck.

So, the odds of hitting a Royal Flush from this deck is 4/2,598,960. As mentioned earlier, this interprets to a 0.000154% of making this unbeatable hand in both Hold’em and Omaha poker. Conversely, the odds against hitting a Royal Flush are 649,739 in 1.

Royal Flush Poker Ranking FAQs

Q. What is a Royal flush in poker?

Royal Flush is the strongest poker hand a player can hit in a poker game. It consists of the five highest ranking cards of the same suit in a consecutive order. Example: A♠,K♠,Q♠,J♠,10♠

Q. Can a Royal Flush be of any Suit?

A RoyalFlush can be of any suit. It is only a set of four possible combinations, one from each suit. A general question and misconception often arise as to what suit ranks above what suit in poker.

Q. Which Suit is the Highest in Poker?

Unlike many other card games, Poker does not alphabetically or systematically rank suits. This means no suit holds special value because of colour. All suits in Poker hold the same value, and other factors like ranking, hand, doubles, triples, straights and flushes decide the highest hand in Poker.

Q. Which Royal Flush is the Highest?

When it comes to the Royal Flush, all four suits rank equally. Since the specific combination of cards is fixed, the only thing separating different Royal Flushes are the suits. However, all the suits are equal to each other and two royal flushes cannot be above or below each other. Also, as it is so rare to get a Royal Flush Ranking, there is almost no chance of two players getting a Royal Flush. In any case, hypothetically if two players do manage to get Royal Flushes, there is no tie-breaker to decide it and the pot is split between the two.

Q. How Does a Royal Flush Hand Rank?

The specific combination – the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten, which are the five highest cards of their respective suits, ranks the highest in a standard Poker game. This combination of the Royal Flush Hand is unbeatable in a 52 card standard deck.

In a poker deck with wildcards, like jokers or with other house rules, the Royal Flush ranks second highest. The 'five of a kind' ranks the highest in a wildcard game. Five of a kind includes four same cards of different suits and one joker wild card. Rankings within the 'five of a kind' hand vary with the ace being the highest-ranked “five of a kind” card and two being the lowest. However, all of them rank above Royal Flush.

Q. Can Four Aces Beat a Royal Flush?

A common misconception is that Four Aces can beat a Royal Flush. This is partially due to the fact that many rulebooks, especially the ones available online state that Royal Flush is the second-highest hand. This is only true for a non-standard poker deck with wild cards, in which case 'Five of a kind' is the highest card. Four Aces, though high in value and probably a sure win in almost all cases, cannot beat a Royal Flush Hand. Four aces is still a 'Four of a kind' hand and it ranks lower than Royal Flush. Hence, in a standard deck with 52 cards, as there cannot be “five of a kind”, Royal Flush remains the highest. “Four of a kind” comes right after it, and 'four aces' is literally the second highest hand in the game, sitting right after Royal Flush and above all other 'Four of a kind's.

Q. How Do You Play a Royal Flush Poker?

A large part of this game is luck. Winning in poker is nearly impossible without being lucky. However, there are methods to boost your chances by knowing the tricks and tips, and with experience at reading the games. A good poker player can turn their luck around and command a game even with an unlucky hand of cards. Knowing how to boost your chances for a Royal Flush to work, ensures a greater probability of winning the game in hand.
The chances of getting a Royal Flush Hand are very less, however, a Royal Flush Poker strategy goes a long way. Knowing when to hold the cards and when to fold the cards is what sets good players apart from just lucky players. Expert players constantly calculate probabilities and execute their strategies accordingly.

Q. What can Beat a Royal Flush Poker?

Royal Flush can consist of only four possible combinations, that is, straight with ace high of the four suits. No other combination can form Royal Flush Hand. Hence in a classic deck, it cannot be beaten. “Four of a kind”, that is four same ranked cards of four different suits, come second to it.

Royal Flush can only be beaten in a poker deck with wild cards. Wild cards include the likes of a joker. In that case, the 'five of a kind' becomes the highest hand. The 'five of a kind' can hence beat a Royal Flush. But it is not a possibility in a standard Poker Deck.

Q. Why is Royal flush so rare?

Royal Flush is the rarest poker hand that is made of the highest five cards of the same suit. This means any Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of a particular suit in this order makes a Royal Flush. The reason behind why this poker hand is so rare is nothing but simple math.

If you take a 52 cards deck, the number of combinations of a Royal Flush is just 4, one of each suit. On the contrary, you can make 36 different combinations of a Straight Flush, the 2nd strongest hand with all four suits. This increases the likelihood of hitting the latter 9 times more than that of a Royal Flush.

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