Who Wins if Two Players Have a Straight in Poker? With Examples


This one might be a post for complete poker beginners. If you are one of those who are not exactly sure of the rules yet, then I am sure it will be of help to you. You might be confused, who wins if two players have a straight. Well, the answer is pretty straightforward. 

nut straight vs 2nd nut straight in poker
A player with higher straight is the winner in this hand. But what happens if both players have the same straight? Read to find out.

A player with the highest rank of straight wins. If both players have the straight of the same rank, then the pot is split. This holds true, of course, if none of them has a higher ranking hand than a straight.

You will hit a straight only 0.4% of the time. So you must play the right hands to maximize those chances. Connected cards are the best, followed by one gappers. It is even better if your hole cards are suited, so you also have an opportunity to hit a flush. Higher cards will hit higher straight. 

Read more in this article about the difference of suited connectors vs. suited one gappers.

So, for example, if you play AK, you will hit higher straights more often than with 98. Also when you have AK and other player has T9, and the board consists of QJT, you will win a lot of money if any of your opponents hold T9.

Straight is a strong hand, and players have a tough time folding it. So if you can, elect to play higher connected hands, and your winrate when you hit straight will be higher. 

Every here and there, you will notice two players having a straight at showdown. There are 2 possible scenarios:

  1. One person has a lower straight, and another person has a higher straight.
  2. Both players have straight of the same rank

Higher vs. lower straight

A player that has a higher straight will win the hand. It doesn’t matter if both players have a straight, it only matters who has the highest straight. 

Of course, if someone has a flush or full house or better hand, they will still beat all the opponents who have a straight.

The value of straights starts at A2345 (also known as the wheel) and goes all the way up to the AKQJT straight. The highest possible straight consists of only broadway cards and is a very powerful hand.

Not only it beats all the lower straights, which will be willing to pay off big bets, but it also beats trips, two pairs, and pairs.

nut straight vs 2nd nut straight in poker
Higher vs. lower straight does happen quite frequently. Especially if large amounts of chips go into the pot, then often one of the players will have the nut straight and someone a lower straight.

If you don’t hold the nut straight (highest possible straight depending on the board), then there are higher possible straights possible in that hand. So sometimes it will happen you get beaten by the nuts when you hold the 2nd nuts. This will reduce your winrate. Nonetheless, you will still make decent money with any straight you have.

Both players have straight of the same rank

In a scenario when both players have the same rank as straight, and no one else has a better hand than a straight, then the pot would get split between them. First, the rake would get deducted from the pot, and then pot gets equally split.

When you are facing a lot of action on the river, and you hold the best possible straight, it is not super uncommon that another person also has the nut straight.

Who wins if there is a straight on the table?

There are a few possible scenarios when a straight is dealt on the table in poker.

  • AKQJT straight on the table
  • Lower straight than the nut straight is on the table
  • A2345 (the wheel) straight is dealt on the board

AKQJT straight on the board

If a flush would be possible on AKQJT board, then someone holding a flush would still win the hand. But in the case that the nut straight gets dealt on the board and no flush is possible, then the pot will always get split.

AKQJT straight on board
In this scenario, everyone that goes to showdown would have the nut straight. There is no better hand possible. The pot would be split among everyone that was in the hand at showdown.

It is important to note that the pot will get split after the rake is deducted. In some live games, it can bet up to 5% uncapped. So imagine if one player decides to shove on the river, then it might cost you 25€ on NL500 just to call to what is guaranteed split pot.

That is truly a disaster. It might not even be worth to you to call this river shove if there was only 10€ in the pot until a person in front of you shoves. 

In online games, there often is the cap on the rake, and a scenario like this shouldn’t happen, so you should call such shove every time. But it is still essential to have a good rakeback deal. Read more in this article – hint: FREE guaranteed money.

Even if you hold any of T – A cards in your hand, and the board is AKQJT, it doesn’t matter. The best 5 cards possible combination still is straight from T-A.

Lower straight than the nut straight is on the table

straight on board
You need to be careful on boards like this if you are facing any action. An opponent could easily have a J or QJ in their hand which would give them a higher straight than it is on the board.

On such boards, you need to be very careful. If you are facing any action, it is quite likely that someone has a higher straight. They now only need 1 card in their hole cards that is precisely 1 rank higher than the highest card on the board. On top of what is on board, and they have a higher straight.

An example of this is the 6789T board. Now the pot isn’t necessarily split. Someone could have a J in their hand or even QJ for the nut straight, and they win the hand.

A2345 (the wheel) straight is dealt on the board

This scenario is quite similar to the lower straight than the nut straight on the table that I explained above. It is common for someone to have a higher straight. Be careful on such boards, and don’t pay off big bets.

Related questions

What happens when a straight is dealt in poker?

If nobody has a better hand than straight that is on the board, then the pot will get split to everyone that stayed in play, until the showdown.

Does a straight and a pair beat a straight?

In Texas Holdem, you need to use 5 cards to have a straight. This means you can have only a straight (as 5 cards are needed for that). It doesn’t matter how many of those 5 cards are your hole cards (that you get dealt in your hand) and how many are from the board. But it needs to be 5 of them, no less, no more.

So a straight and a pair doesn’t beat a straight as it can’t exist at showdown. Both players’ hands will be a straight. If that straight is of the same rank, then they will split the pot. Otherwise, the person with a bigger straight will win the hand.

What is a wheel in poker?

lowest straight
Example of a “wheel”. This is the lowest possible straight. But you should still make decent money with it.

The poker term “wheel” stands for the lowest possible straight that can be made in Holdem. It consists of precisely the following cards: A-2-3-4-5. The order doesn’t matter, as long as you can make this 5 card hand combination, then you have the wheel. Any straight higher than a wheel beats the wheel straight. But even the lowest straight is a great hand, and it will win you a lot of money.

Related links:

Article: What happens when two hands tie in poker

Article: Who wins if both players have a full house? With Examples

Article: What is a Gutshot Straight in Poker? (with 11 examples)

Article: What is a backdoor straight draw in poker (with 4 examples)

Article: Who wins if both players have a flush?

Article: Who wins if both players have a pair?

Conclusion

Now you know about all the scenarios when 2 people have a straight in poker. You know who wins, and you know which kind of hands are better to hit straights that will make you the most money.

No matter which straight you will have, you should be making very nice money with it as there are plenty of worse cards that are willing to call the bets. If you are facing a lot of aggression on flush or full house possible boards, then you should reconsider if your straight is strong enough to call or stack off. It depends a lot on the opponent’s playstyle.

Good luck and see you at the tables.

Primoz

I have played poker professionally for more than 10 years. I was a winner at every poker format that I played - from tournaments to cash games, both in NL Holdem and PLO. Now my biggest satisfaction is to provide enthusiastic but new poker players with answers to all of their questions.

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