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Why in Texas Hold'em Flushes are considered higher than Straights? Apparently, the probability that you will hit your up & down straight (8 cards) is lower than hitting your flush (9 cards).

I am not a newbie. Just interesting from the historical point of view. As Texas Hold'em says the rarest hand is always stronger.

  • Pedantic note: it's not specifically true that the rarest hand is stronger. The hand AKQJT is no rarer than the hand 75432 but one is considered lots stronger than the other. But yes, I know what you meant. – Chris Farmer Aug 28 '15 at 20:22
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You're looking at it from the skewed perspective where you already have four cards toward your goal. When you look at it from the point of view where you have five random cards, it's less likely that they will form a flush than a straight. So, it's more difficult to even get the four-flush than the open-ended straight draw.

The odds for getting a flush are 508:1, and to get a straight it's 254:1.

Because flushes are less likely than straights, they're valued higher. Flushes are rarer than straights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_probability

  • It should also be noted that there are games (like Manila) played with a "stripped" deck which has only 8 cards of each suit. In such a game, a flush is even rarer than a full house, and is therefore ranked higher. – Lee Daniel Crocker Aug 29 '15 at 2:19
  • the only exception to this rule is in stud where having pair is more likely than having nothing (high card)... and still pair wins. – amigal Sep 1 '15 at 13:01
  • But there you're relying on having 7 cards with which to make a 5-card hand, so it's not the same comparison. – Chris Farmer Sep 1 '15 at 13:53
  • Holdem is also from 7 cards. And it is actually easier to get 4 flush than an open ended straight draw. The difference is you can also make a straight from a single gutter. – paparazzo Mar 14 '16 at 11:42
  • @frisbee My point in the comment was about the pair being more likely than having nothing. When you have 7 cards from which to choose 5, your average hand rank gets lots higher than if you have just 5. – Chris Farmer Mar 14 '16 at 17:36

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