Can You Get a ROYAL FLUSH?

In this article, we are going to talk about various different hands and the odds and probabilities of hitting particular hands on the flop, and also the odds of completing hands by the river, we all know that making a royal flush is a dream situation, but do we know the probability in actually hitting a royal flush? I think in over 10 years of playing poker, I can only recall hitting a royal flush twice, twice in 10 years doesn’t sound that great, it was only the other night whilst playing in a live tournament, I witnessed a player make a royal flush on the flop with the AQd’s as hole cards, I wonder if he knew the odds of hitting the royal flush poker hand.

Odds of Hitting Our Favourite Royal Hand

An image of royal flush poker hand.

The odds of flopping a royal flush in Texas Hold'em are 1/650,000 and the odds of making your royal flush by the river are 1/65000, pretty big odds aren’t they, so now we can understand that making 2 royal flushes in 10 years makes sense, even though I have played more than 135k hands it’s not guaranteed you hit a royal flush every 65000 hands, as this is just the workings out of the probability, it may well be you get lucky and hit a lot more than that, but I guess I’m one of the unlucky ones!.

Ok so we know that every time we sit down at a poker table, whether it be online or in a casino, the royal flush chance is pretty slim. Let’s take a look at the more common hands we see and look at the probability of making these.

1 Pair – When you dealt any 2 unpaired cards, the chances of actually making a pair on the flop is 32%, so about once every 3 hands.

2 Pair – Again, having an unpaired hand pre flop and hitting 2 pair the odds are 2.1%.

3 of a kind – Unpaired hand the chances of hitting 3 of a kind are 1.3%.

Full house – Unpaired hand the chances of making a full house are 0.3%.

4 of a kind – With an unpaired hand your chances are 0.01%.

The poker hand rankings probability examples above helps us understand the chances of playing unpaired hands pre flop, knowing that we are only going to hit a pair 1 in 3 times on the flop certainly gives us a good indication of why we have to be selective of our starting hands and positional play. One of the biggest mistakes I see players doing is calling raises out of position with poor starting hands, playing out of position is hard enough with a good hand, but there is no excuse for playing poor hands out of position, although this tends to happen more in live games and low stakes online as the players don’t understand their hand equity and normally don’t have the required knowledge around odds and probabilities.

Below we will look at various hands and situations, such as paired hands and draws.

3 of a kind (holding a pocket pair) – You will make your 3 of a kind roughly 11% of the time.

Flush – Holding 2 suited cards you will flop a flush 0.8% of the time.

Straight – Again, holding connected cards such as 8/9, 10/J and K/Q you will make a straight on the flop 1.3% of the time.

We can work out post flop odds of completing draws and making better hands by simple maths, as I will explain in later articles in more detail, but for working out equity and draw odds, we need to count our possible outs and the simplest way to do this is to count each remaining card as 2%, multiplied by the remaining streets and this should give us fairly accurate hand equity. Within your training, you will find in week 5 chapter 13 a very accurate hand odds chart, I suggest getting yourself familiar with these odds as it will only lead to being more successful at the tables.

Always remember when chasing draws and especially chasing a Royal flush, the amount of equity you have in your hand, your hand might look pretty but we need to remember what our odds are when chasing draws etc. and not to mention pot odds, implied odds and reverse implied odds, if you have 4 of the 5 cards required for the royal flush, the last card only counts for 2% and that goes for any hand whether it be a straight or a flush. Your training provides all the details around odds and probabilities in much more detail, it gives specific live examples of chasing draws in and out of position. Please also refer to for the poker odds calculator which can be found on the home page.
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By David C (Rob Akery Student)