What is a ‘Flush’?
A flush is a poker hand in which all the cards are of the same suit. The word flush, which can also mean a feeling of affluence which you may or may not experience when playing poker, derives from the Latin word fluxus meaning flowing or abundant.
A royal flush is a straight from 10 to A where all cards are the same suit; it is the strongest natural hand in poker. The next strongest hand is a straight flush. A standard flush of 5 non-consecutive cards ranks higher than a high card, one pair, two pair, three of a kind or straight but lower than a full house, 4 of a kind, straight flush or royal flush. It’s a common misconception that a straight beats a flush, but that’s never the case.
A straight flush can run A-2-3-4-5 or 10-J-Q-K-A but the Ace can never wrap around. However, if you have a non-straight flush, the Ace always counts high, so an Ace flush will beat a King flush. No suit takes precedence in poker as it might do in other card games so, for example, a heart flush is equal to a spade flush.
Flush is common in poker terminology. For example, the four flush uses 4 cards from the board plus 1 from your hand to complete a flush and is also known as an Arkansas flush after the American state. It is not to be confused with four to a flush, when a player is on a draw for a flush, needing one more card to make it happen. A backdoor flush occurs when you have 3 cards in your hand that might support a flush but you need both the turn and the river to complete it. If that doesn’t work out, then your backdoor flush becomes a busted flush.