Royal Flush Definition – Know Your Odds and Probabilities
What Is a Royal Flush?
Royal flush is the best possible hand one can get in Texas Hold’em and all other high poker variations.
It consists of five cards of the same suit, from 10 to Ace (i.e., Th Jh Qh Kh Ah).
Royal flush is simply a fancy name for the strongest straight flush and if you are dealt this poker hand, you can safely put all your chips in the middle, knowing it’s impossible to lose on a showdown.
It’s important to note that in draw and stud poker variations, suits don’t play any role in determining the strength of a royal straight flush. That is to say that a royal flush in spades is no stronger than the one in clubs.
In the extremely unlikely event two or more players end up having a royal on the showdown, they’ll split the pot equally regardless of the suits.
Royal Flush Odds
Even if you’ve been playing poker for a while, it’s entirely possible that you’ve never had a royal flush up to this point in your career. That’s no surprise, because the odds of getting this hand in Texas Hold’em are very slim.
The overall odds of hitting a royal flush in Hold’em are just 1 in 649,740, which is 0.00015%. There are almost 2.6 million different five-card poker hand combinations, and only four of them are royal flushes.
To put things into perspective a bit more, let’s say you play live poker four nights a week for six hours. On average, you’ll see probably around 25 hands an hour, which is about 2,500 hands a month, and 30,000 hands a year.
Mathematically speaking your odds of hitting a royal flush are such that you should get one about every 21 years. So, if you haven’t had one yet, just keep at it for another decade or so.
Odds of flopping the royal flush when you’re already dealt two cards that can make this hand, like Kh Qh, are somewhat better. They are 1 in 19,600, which is still extremely low, and you first need to get dealt two of the five cards needed.
While odds of a royal flush aren’t very appealing, it is the only unbeatable hand in poker, so it’s no surprise players chase after it. When you do finally get lucky and make a royal straight flush, try your best to make most out of it, because it could be another two decades before you see it again!