What is ‘Steel Wheel’?
Steel Wheel is a casino term that is used to describe a hand that most poker players would be pleased with. The hand is the lowest possible straight flush, so in order to have a steel wheel hand, a player would need to be holding an ace, two, three, four and five, all suited. In some games, such as a high-low game where neither straights nor flushes are counted when against the lowest portion of the hand, the steel wheel is the best possible hand a player can have. In that instance, the steel wheel would become a strong high hand as well as the nut low.
‘Steel Wheel’ Explained
Most experienced poker players will know that a steel wheel is a very good hand to have. Not only is it relatively rare, but it gives players an excellent chance of winning the hand, and if they get their tactics right, they can usually win a large pot. In some casinos that have a Monte Carlo Board, if a player manages to make a steel wheel hand, they are rewarded with a cash bonus simply for making the hand.
Since having a steel wheel is very rare, opponents will not generally think that a player is holding one, and may mistake a player having a steel wheel for a flush. In this case, opponents may be encouraged to bet more, especially if they’re holding a hand such as four of a kind or a full house. The more a player’s opponents bet, the bigger the pot. Depending on a player’s style, they can either go aggressive with a steel wheel, hoping to catch an overly confident opponent, or if the table is full of tighter players, they may want to adopt a more cautious style to see if they can gently tease a decent amount of bets out the table.
One of the best aspects of the steel wheel hand is that if a player is playing in a poker room that offers a bad beat jackpot, the steel wheel can trigger it. Although qualification for a bad beat jackpot varies, most casinos will offer a bad beat jackpot if a player has a hand such as four of a kind which is then beaten by an even better hand. In this case, a steel wheel could end up triggering the jackpot, netting the player a huge amount of cash, as long as the conditions are met.