A royal flush is actually the best possible straight flush you can make, and is made from a ten-to-ace straight of all the same suit. All other straights that have all five cards of the same suit make a straight flush.
An example of a straight flush looks like this:
Other straight flushes could be hands like 6♦ 5♦ 4♦ 3♦ 2♦ and Q♠ J♠ T♠ 9♠ 8♠. In a showdown between two straight flushes, the hand with the strongest high card wins. For example, a ten-high straight flush beats a seven-high straight flush.
How Does a Straight Flush Rank?
The straight flush stands at No. 2 in the poker hand rankings and only loses to a royal flush. A straight flush beats four-of-a-kind, full houses, and all other hands below it in the hand rankings.
A straight flush is a very rare hand to see in any poker game that uses a standard 52-card deck. When drawing five random cards from the deck, your chances of making a straight flush are 0.00139%, or 72,192.3-to-1 against.
A 52-card deck yields nine distinct ways to draw a straight flush. Our examples of Q♠ J♠ T♠ 9♠ 8♠ and 6♦ 5♦ 4♦ 3♦ 2♦ represent two different distinct straight flushes, no matter what the suit. The nine distinct hands times the four suits give you 36 ways to draw a straight flush.
Texas Hold’em tasks the player with making the best possible five-card hand out of seven total cards. With all five community cards on the board, you have a 0.0279% chance of making a straight flush in Texas Hold’em (3,589.6-to-1).