What is a ‘Royal Flush’?
A royal flush is the best possible hand available in most forms of poker when wild cards or jokers are not in use. It is an incredibly rare version of a straight flush which consists of a ten, jack, queen, king and ace, all of the same suit.
‘Royal Flush’ Explained
In almost every incarnation of poker, the royal flush is the highest ranking hand that a player can draw. It’s effectively an ace high straight flush, meaning that there are only four ways to achieve this set in line with the four suits in a standard deck of playing cards.
There are more than 2.5 million possible five card hands available in a game of poker, meaning that the odds of drawing a royal flush stand at a whopping 649,739/1. Many real world and online poker rooms choose to offer jackpot bonuses should a player achieve a royal flush due to the rarity of this hand, however this is not consistent with all casinos.
The only time that a royal flush can be beaten is when using jokers or wild cards within a deck. A player could technically draw a five of a kind hand, such as four aces and a joker, which outranks the royal flush but most forms of poker will simply involve playing with a standard 52 card deck.
Perhaps the most famous royal flush in recent times occurred during the 2008 World Series of Poker main event in a heads up hand between Justin Phillips and Moto Mabuchi. Considered one of the harshest bad beats in the tournament’s history, the community cards dealt were ace of hearts, nine of clubs, and a queen, ten and ace of diamonds. Mabuchi, holding pocket aces, went all in with four of a kind, only to see Phillips call him and win the hand with a royal flush.