Which Cards Make Up a Royal Flush?

By Christina Martinez
A royal flush, the same suits, the highest-ranking cards
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Traditional poker, whether it's Five-Card Draw, Texas Hold 'em or Jokers Wild, is played with five cards per player. One pair is one of the lowest hands you can have; playing a royal flush is the highest hand you can play. A royal flush is the hardest hand to play in poker, no matter what version of the game you're playing. This hand will beat every other hand on the table, if you're lucky enough to be able to get it.

Straight vs. Flush

Knowing the difference between a straight and a flush can help you know what cards will make up a royal flush. A straight in poker is a sequence of five cards in any suit. A straight is about in the middle of the ranking of what beats what, below a flush and above a three-of-a-kind. A flush is a set of five cards that are the same suit. These cards can be any set of number or face cards and don't have to be in sequence. The flush ranks right above a straight and below a full house.

Straight Flush

When you put a straight and flush together, you come up with something that combines sequence of cards with the same suit of cards. Before knowing what a royal flush is, you should know what a straight flush consists of. A straight flush is a hand where you have five cards of the same suit in a sequence. For example if you have: 2,3,4,5 and 6 in diamonds, you have a straight flush in your hand. A straight flush is the second best hand you can play in poker.

Royal Flush

A royal flush is a better version of a straight flush. The cards of the royal flush must be of the same suit, clubs, spades, hearts or diamonds. If you're playing a game of poker where Jokers are wild, a Joker may make up for a missing card in the royal flush. However, a royal flush must only consist of the highest cards in the deck: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10. This type of a flush is the highest hand you can play in poker.


While the thought of playing a royal flush may be appealing, the odds of actually getting a royal flush are small. In five-card-draw poker, the odds of getting a royal flush hand is 1 in 649,740. There are only four ways of getting a royal flush because there are four suits in a deck of cards. Compare this to the odds of getting a one-pair hand: 1 in 2.36. There are 1,098,240 ways of getting a one-pair hand in five-card draw.

About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.