# Why Does Four of a Kind Beat a Straight or a Flush?

Holding a strong hand in a game of poker often leads to winning money. The strongest hands in the poker hand rankings don’t often occur in the game, and seeing two monster hands go head-to-head marks an even rarer event.

Straights, flushes, and four-of-a-kind all rank as strong hands in poker. When a straight or a flush goes to battle with four-of-a-kind, it usually results in a massive pot.

Is a straight or flush strong enough to win against four-of-a-kind? Does four-of-a-kind beat a straight?

In this case, four-of-a-kind wins against both straights and flushes. Let’s dig into the math behind these three hands and figure out the probabilities of making each in a poker game.

## Why Does Four of a Kind Beat a Straight or a Flush?

The lower the probability of making a poker hand, the higher that hand stands in the poker hand rankings. To figure out poker hand probabilities, we need to calculate the chances of drawing a particular hand if we randomly chose five cards from a standard 52-card deck.

Texas Hold’em, the world’s most popular poker game, involves making the best possible five-card hand from seven total cards. This yields different probabilities versus drawing just five cards.

Four-of-a-kind happens less often than straights and flushes in a poker game, and here’s a breakdown of the math behind the probabilities of each:

### The Math Behind Four of a Kind

If you draw five random cards from a 52-card deck, you have an 0.024% chance of making four-of-a-kind. This translates to 4,165-to-1 odds against making four-of-a-kind from a random five-card draw.

The deck gives us 156 distinct ways to make four-of-a-kind. An example of a distinct four-of-a-kind hand could look like this:

Any combination of four queens with a four kicker makes the same distinct four-of-a-kind hand. Multiplying the 156 distinct four-of-a-kind hands times the four possible suits for the kicker, the deck yields 624 possible ways to make four-of-a-kind.

In Texas Hold’em, with all five community cards on the board, you have an 0.168% chance of making four-of-a-kind (594-to-1 odds against).

### The Math Behind a Straight

A straight consists of five sequential cards, including any mix of suits. The following hand is an example of a straight:

A random draw of five cards from a 52-card deck yields an 0.3925% chance of making a straight. This equates to 253.8-to-1 odds against drawing a straight.

A standard poker deck gives us ten distinct ways to draw a straight. Multiplying by all possible suit combinations, the deck yields 10,200 different possible ways to make a straight.

In Texas Hold’em, with all five community cards on the board, you have a 4.62% chance of making a straight. This probability translates to 20.6-to-1 odds against making a straight in Texas Hold’em.

### The Math Behind a Flush

To make a flush, you need to put together five cards of the same suit. An example of a flush looks like this:

The 52-card deck yields 1,277 distinct flush hands. Multiplied by four different suit possibilities for each distinct flush, a regulation poker deck gives us 5,108 total ways to make a flush.

When drawing five random cards from a deck, you have an 0.1965% probability of making a flush (508.8-to-1 odds against). In Texas Hold’em, if all five community cards are on the board, you have a 5.82% chance of making a flush.

Four-of-a-kind, flushes, and straights are all strong hands in most variants of poker. Four-of-a-kind occurs the least out of the three hands, however, making it the winner against a straight or a flush.

Note: Are you here just to learn how to play poker...or do you want to know how to win too? Get this free guide with 10 quick poker strategy tips if you want to come out on top.

Note: Are you here just to learn how to play poker...or do you want to know how to win too? Get this free guide with 10 quick poker strategy tips if you want to come out on top.

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