If you have ever seen any film involving a poker scene, then you are well familiar with the Royal Flush. When playing poker, Royal Flush is the Holy Grail because it’s the best-ranking hand you can ever garner in a game without wild cards.
If you are an avid poker player or enthusiast, however, you know the chances of getting a royal straight flush are very minimal. Unlike in the movies, this hand appears less often, but there are certain tried and true tricks and tactics you can use to improve your odds of forming one.
In this post, we are going to explore the fascinating world of the royal flush in poker. Buckle up for some handy tips and ways to boost your chances of getting one.
What is a Royal Flush?
Royal straight flush or simply royal flush is the most valuable hand in the deck-card game of poker. In fact, it’s the strongest possible hand you can hold in a poker game without wild cards and can land you one of the biggest payouts for a single hand.
Most casinos, online and offline, offer lucrative prizes for players who garner a royal flush, including massive cash jackpots and other flush prizes.
To form a royal straight flush, you must hold in your hand ace (A), king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), and ten (10), ALL of the same suit. For instance, you can have 10 to A straight all of hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades.
You don’t need to be good at math to know that this is the rarest hand to come by. As a matter of fact, mathematically speaking, the probability of being dealt a straight royal flush in a 52-deck card is 0.00015 percent, which is to say otherwise that your chances are slim to none.
In reality, however, royal flushes do appear more often than you think. But the trick is to know when to fold ém and when to hold ’em. Let’s break it down.
Tips on How to Get a Royal Flush in Poker
It Pays to Know your Hand
In poker, it is always crucial to understand what trumps what, especially when it comes to higher-value hands. More importantly, you must know what cards you need to be holding to have a royal flush.
As we’ve noted before, this can be achieved with an ace-high straight. In a five-card game, that would be ten-jack-queen-king-ace of a similar suit.
Remember that there are poker games, particularly those found in online casinos that use wild cards. These are special cards that may be substituted for any of the cards in your hand.
In light of that, a natural royal straight flush is a royal flush in which one or more cards are wild cards.
Know which Poker Games are More Likely to form a Royal Flush
Poker games play out in more or less similar manner. That’s not to say that all of them are created equal. The opposite is true.
You are always better off playing a poker game that’s well-known for delivering royal flushes. Take Omaha poker, for instance. In this game, 2 players can’t get a royal flush at the same time because there are exactly 2 hole-cards.
A 5-card draw poker or 7-card stud, on the other hand, makes it possible for 2 players to both form a royal flush. Unfortunately, that means the two players have to share the spoils. Of course, such a scenario is very rare, and the vast majority of players haven’t seen it happen firsthand.
It’s worth noting that ranking poker hands has to do with their frequency than anything else. The rarer the hand, the higher it’s ranked. That’s why the royal flush is the highest ranked hand because it’s the rarest.
By the same token, four of a kind ranked lower than a straight flush because it’s easier to make, but ranks higher than a full house because it’s harder to make.
When all’s said and done, however, how difficult it’s to form a royal flush usually boils down to the type of poker game you want to play. With that being said, here’s what to keep in mind:
Stud vs drawcard poker: Your odds of landing a royal flush are higher when you are playing a draw poker game than when you are playing stud poker game. The reason is simple: you can get rid of poor or bad cards when playing drawcard poker, but the same is not true for stud games, in which case you have to stick with the cards you are dealt.
5-card poker games may be your enemy when trying to get a royal flush. In a 5-card stud or draw poker game, your probability of making a royal flush are a whopping 1 in about 650,000. Moreso, the royal flushes account for only 1 in 10 straight flushes, so the odds of landing a straight flush in the first place are about 1 in approximately 65,000.
You stand a chance of making a royal flush by playing poker games where you are deal 5+ cards. When you switch from a 5-card draw poker to 7-card Texas Hold ‘em, for instance, you improve your chances from 1 in 649,740 to 1 in 30,940.
Funny enough, you odds of landing a royal flush on the first 3 community cards (or what’s known as a flop in Texas Hold ‘em) are still 1 in about 650,000. However, this comes down to 1 in about 108,000 when you are dealt the 4th card (or what’s called the turn card). By the time you receive the river card, you are chances will have improved by a staggering 5 percent.
This improves even better when you play a 9-card draw poker game like Omaha hold ‘em with five community cards and four hole cards.
Try poker games that use less than a full deck (fewer than 52 cards in a deck): This is especially true for variants like Royal Hold ‘em, in which all other regular playing cards are stripped from the deck except for the tens, jacks, queens, kings and aces. With only 4,845 hands possible, that means your odds of getting a royal flush improves to 1 in around 1,211.
Opt for games with wild cards: in this kind of games, wild cards can replace or substitute for any royal flush card, enhancing your chances of forming one. These wild cards increase your odds of getting a royal flush more than cards like jokers which only bulk up the deck.
Develop a Solid Royal Flush Strategy
The good news is that your probability of making a royal flush goes up every time you are dealt a card that forms a royal flush. Did you know that when you have 4 out of 5 royal flush cards, your odds are in the region of 1 in 47?
Even still, you can still flop a sure royal flush. That’s why you must craft an actionable royal flush strategy. This comes in two fashions: a strategy to help you know when to hold ‘em, and another strategy to help you decide when to fold ‘em.
Strategy for when to hold ‘em
Again, it’s worth keeping in mind that your chances are higher when you have two, three or more cards that form a royal flush. For example, if you already have 3 cards making up a royal flush, your odds of landing a 4th card that’s part of the royal flush are about 2 in 47. Nonetheless, your odds of getting cards that make up a royal flush in both the 4th and 5th deals are 1 in about 1081.
Similarly, your chances go down when you have only 2 cards that are part of a royal flush. In fact, your odds of getting other 3 royal flush cards are 1 in 16,200. If you have only 1 card that makes up the royal flush, then your odds of getting the other 4 cards in subsequent deals are 1 in approximately 178,370
Here are a few examples on when to hold ‘em:
- When you have four of natural cards that make up the royal flush, hold the 4 and get rid of the other one.
- When you have KK or AA, discard 3 cards, and keep one.
- When you have a full house (a pair and 3 of a kind), hold all the cards when the game includes jokers
- When you get any flush, it’s prudent to hold ‘em
- If it is a game with wilds, keep only the wild and discard the other 4 unless they are an ace, kings, queens, jacks or tens.
Strategy to known when to fold ‘em
The type of card that makes up the royal flush that you had in hand can make a huge difference. The question is: should you settle for a lesser hand or attempt to play for the royal straight flush? That’s where your strategy will help you know when to fold ‘em.
Let’s take a look at an example. If you have in a hand the ten, jack, queen and king, you have a higher chance of making a royal flush than if you are dealt the jack, queen, king, and ace. In the former case, you are only waiting for a ten of a similar suit, which has a probability of appearing of 1 in 47. That means if you are dealt a card of a lower value, only four of a kind, full house or straight flush hands will beat you.
In saying that, you can play for a royal flush if you have an ace-high, rather than a king-high.
You should also attempt playing for a royal flush only if you’ve outside straight, such as ten, jack, queen & king of the same suit instead of ten, jack, king and ace (which is what’s called an inside straight). This way, you can draw on the “outside” of the consecutive cards. After all, the chances of getting a queen to fit inside will be much lower than getting an ace.
Other Valuable Hands in Poker
A straight flush is just a notch lower than a royal flush. If you are holding a straight flush, you have in your hand five consecutive cards, all of the same suit. For example, you may have a 6-7-8-9-10, all of the clubs.
While a straight flush may not trigger the same level of adrenaline as the former, it still pays pretty handsomely. As we’ve said for a royal flush, the best strategy is to know when to fold ‘em and when to hold ’em.
Just like a royal flush, it can be quite hard to land a straight flush.
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind comes right after a straight flush in the ranking of poker hands. It refers to hand where you have 4 of the same card with a different fifth card. For instance, you can have four tens of a kind, with an ace.
That’s not too shabby. In fact, if you are a master of bluffing, some people may think that you have a straight flush or a royal flush and could end up folding.
It’s not what it sounds like. Some non-poker players often think getting all cards of the same kind will form a full house. Rather, a full house is when your hand includes a set of 3 of a kind, as well as another pair of a kind.
For example, a 9-9-9-4-4 is a full house, and so is Q-Q-7-7-7.
Every poker player knows that a full house is not only feasible but also a decent hand that can deliver a good payout.
Making a royal straight full is every player’s dream when playing poker, but it’s the rarest hand to land. We hope that the tricks and tips we detailed above will help you increase your chances of forming a royal flush.