I am studying probability at the moment, and find myself often having to deal with calculating the probability of poker hands, and thus have to be crystal clear on the definition of poker hands.

A straight is supposed to be any sequence of 5 cards. However, the following hands are excluded from being considered straights:

  • K, A, 2, 3, 4
  • Q, K, A, 2, 3
  • J, K, Q, A, 2

Why is that?

  • Straight A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is ofter called wheeler and is the only wrapped straight allowed.
    – luizfzs
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:56
  • that's the common reading but you can rank your hands anyway you like. These are just artificial rules, not laws.
    – Jon
    Nov 11, 2017 at 12:58

5 Answers 5


Because that's the rules of the game. Simple as that. Straights are not cyclic, they're linear. Think of the Ace as the start point and end point but not at the same time. I.E. You can have an Ace high straight (10,J,Q,K,A) or a 5 high straight (A,2,3,4,5).

There are home games and variation games that make use of straights like you're describing, they're called 'wrap around' straights.

  • 3
    An ace can be either high or low, but not both at the same time.
    – Herb
    Nov 8, 2017 at 13:13

In poker generally the ace is both the highest card and a 1. I say generally because in some house poker games such as Pai-Gow, a wheel beats a king high straight as I found out the hard way a couple decade ago. I imagine that in some places they also rank hands this way. be sure to ask if you see something that indicates hand rankings may not be conventional. the rules for hand rankings evoloved over sometime. I once played a pai-gow poker, had a king high dtraight, and they dealer turned over a wheel saying it was an ace high striaght, that beat my straight I arugued for awhile with them. it seemed very stuopid to me. At any rate you can play however you like, just need to be sure your rules are clear and understood by your players, poker rules evolve and are not etched in stone by God.


A Straight in poker consists of five cards in consecutive order e.g. 3-4-5-6-7. While poker sequences are quite easy to understand, there might be some confusion or doubts about making a sequence using the Ace card. With the Ace card, the possible straights are 10-J-Q-K-A and A-2-3-4-5. When the former one has all cards of the same suit it becomes a Royal Flush which is unbeatable in poker.

  • Grinch said "When the former one has all cards of the same suit it becomes a Royal Flush which is unbeatable in poker." please note in games playes with wild cards like a joker, the best possible hand is five of a kind, not royal flushes.
    – Jon
    Mar 26, 2023 at 23:37

It counts as a straight if everyone agrees at the start of the game that it counts. I got one once. Now, I always ask. Most people seem to think it's OK.

  • If you're playing home rules and want to make it a straight sure go for it, but in standard rules for Hold'em it is not a straight. Don't expect anyone outside of a home game to agree to this.
    – Grinch91
    Apr 26, 2023 at 15:04

Straights wrap around, that's all nonsense.

  • Hi Adrian, welcome to PokerSE. I appreciate the sentiment of the original text but I think its necessary for a moderator to make a small edit in this case.
    – Toby Booth
    Feb 6, 2022 at 15:47

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