View Full Version : Straights should be ranked higher than flushes in Hold 'Em?

Collin O'Mahon
08-26-2003, 11:30 PM
A friend of mine believes that straights should be ranked higher than flushes in Hold 'Em. His logic is that after the flop, it's easier to complete a 4 flush draw than it is to complete a 4 straight draw (open-ended). What is the fallacy in his logic?

He isn't taking account of the "front-ended" probability... I.e., starting with a JTs, it's harder to draw to a 4 flush draw than a 4 straight draw.

Does anyone have any thoughts? My buddy is going to start lobbying casinos to change the hand rankings...

08-27-2003, 12:37 AM
He isn't taking account of the "front-ended" probability... I.e., starting with a JTs, it's harder to draw to a 4 flush draw than a 4 straight draw.

That isn't the reason because it's actually a little harder to flop a 4 straight draw than a 4 flush draw with JTs. See my calculations here (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=278662&page=&view=&sb =5&o=&vc=1). It is even harder to flop a 4-straight draw with non-connecting cards.

As a result of this calculation, I've had this same thought myself, that straights are harder to make and thus should be ranked higher. However, there are more ways to make a straight in 7 cards than a flush, and the difference is made up by the gutshots, though these are harder to make because they are often bet out of the pot.

08-27-2003, 02:33 AM
Completeing the last card of a flush has always been easier than completeing the last card of a straight. That doesn't mean that they happen more often than a straight. Look at a holdem board and notice how often a straight is possible, though not probable given a player would fold that holding pre-flop.

Better yet how often have you looked at the board and said I would have flopped a straight or a straight draw, if I only would have played?

There are very few boards that don't have a possible straight.

08-27-2003, 11:17 AM
All poker rankings are based on the relative odds of a 5 card hand. In fact, with 7 cards, 2 pair and 1 pair hands are MORE likely than no pair. But we still count 2 pair as higher than no pair.

As far as straights and flushes are concerned, even in 7 card hands, straights are more common than flushes.

Don't forget, that you are 3 times as likely to be dealt unsuited cards as suited ones. So even if a 4 flush flop is slightly easier to hit than an outsides straight, you are only getting those two suited cards to go in on 1 in 4 times (discounting pairs).

Also, most good players shy away from unsuited cards unless they are really big, so it limits the number of straight draw oportunities that get played pre-flop. If more people routinely played hands like 79o or 45o, you would see more straights made at the river. You would also see more fish!

08-27-2003, 11:40 AM
Nothing to do with the question, other than a comment that anyone who thinks that they have found an error in something as well established as hand rankings has a big enough ego to be a great NL player.

what I really wanted to say though, is Mavraam's quote could be the funniest line from a "reality show" EVER. I laughed for a good 3 minutes afer he came out with that one, and wondered if Phil was going to take him outside again, only to have his butt kicked, again. (At least thats what I believe the outcome of the first parking lot confrontation was.)

08-27-2003, 12:17 PM
That was the most entertaining hour of poker I have ever seen. The only thing that compared was Tony G. on the World Poker Tour in France. He was unbelievable. "You called just like that? You should be more carefull with your money! Its a FLUUUUSSSHHH. Just like that, 20,000 Euros..." and it went on and on and on.

I'm sure at some point in his life, someone has lost it and decked him too!

08-27-2003, 02:15 PM
It's obvious that the conventional hand rankings in poker are merely arbitrary and capricious.

To me it is clear that the highest ranked hand should be

2 /images/graemlins/diamond.gif T /images/graemlins/heart.gif 7 /images/graemlins/spade.gif 2 /images/graemlins/heart.gif 8 /images/graemlins/diamond.gif

and of course the lowest hand should be

Q /images/graemlins/diamond.gif 2 /images/graemlins/diamond.gif 8 /images/graemlins/spade.gif 3 /images/graemlins/heart.gif 5 /images/graemlins/spade.gif

You can't argue with logic. /images/graemlins/wink.gif

08-27-2003, 07:14 PM
20 cards in deck for any 5 card straight. Only 13 cards in deck for any 5 card flush. 13 < 20 = flush > straight.

Tim /images/graemlins/wink.gif

08-28-2003, 01:47 AM
How about the fact that A-high flushes are ranked higher than 7-high flushes when there are many more ways to make the A-high flush.

08-28-2003, 01:50 AM
In fact, with 7 cards, 2 pair and 1 pair hands are MORE likely than no pair. But we still count 2 pair as higher than no pair.

That's not true. You have to look at each 5-card hand that can be made out of 7 cards, and then there are more no-pair hands than paired hands. That is why pairs are ranked higher, and that is how all the hand rankings are obtained.

08-28-2003, 08:20 AM
... and any specific hand is rarer than a Royal Flush.

George Rice
08-28-2003, 02:28 PM
Actually all specific hands are equally likely, including any of the four specific royal flushes ;-)

So I guess all poker hands should result in a tie!

08-28-2003, 03:58 PM
Flushes are pretty. Especially the blue diamond ones.

08-28-2003, 05:43 PM
I like this idea. I would be the best poker player EVER. I would NEVER LOSE.

08-29-2003, 12:47 AM
Except that everyone would be raked to death.