is a Royal Flush a hand ranking?

BGinGA

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I think that Royal Flush is only included at the top of hand rankings chart, simply because it is the very best possible hand.

That qualifier doesn't apply to quad aces, aces full of kings, an ace-high flush, a royal straight, or trip aces.

But it's just a straght flush, in terms of grouping.
 

WazamBelina

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When looking to print some cheat sheets for novices at my games of hand rankings, it seems that 95% of them have the rank of 'Royal Flush' as the highest rank above the straight flush. To me, a Royal Flush is the highest possible straight flush, and therefore it is not a different ranking. Every rank has its high possible combination, and the straight flush one just has a catchy name, so why is it listed on most of the cards as its own rank?

Gee, I hope this doesn't cause major controversy like the Hot Dog / Sandwich debate...
I agree to a certain extent. A royal flush is just a higher degree of a straight flush. But, it still doesn't happen that often and is the highest hand you can get in poker. I don't think recognizing it as its own is a bad thing. It gives you something to look forward to if you ever hit it.
 

abby99

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Who other than newbies consults lists of hand rankings? A Royal Flush is pretty and seeing it on the list probably appeals to beginners. Showing it separately adds no information but does no harm.
 

Kid_Eastwood

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But any straight flush without using a joker card beats 5 aces:D
At any rate, I 've struggled to leave that shit behind me, and I 'm very happy playing just NLHE.:)

There is only one way to make 5 aces but four to make a royal straight flush.

So it's very logical that 5 aces is on the top of the list. ;-)
 

RudysNYC

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I think that Royal Flush is only included at the top of hand rankings chart, simply because it is the very best possible hand.
Sorry to revive this but I had the same thought as this thread and accidentally started a duplicate, merging it here

I think the Royal Flush is included at the top so the Playing Card Mafia can make their godforsaken hand rankings charts symmetrical. Piss poor excuse for corrupting the minds of budding poker players, ya ask me.

It's the same damn hand!

IMG_2913.JPG
 

Schmendr1ck

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Five Aces beats a straight flush as well.

(obviously we are talking about games where a joker can be used as an ace)
Several years ago I was playing for the second or third time in a new-to-me home game. I should have been on alert already, because this was a game where 1bb is always the minimum legal raise. Post-tourney cash game started, dealer's choice. One hand per game and wild card games were allowed. Eh, okay, whatever, it's .25/.50 and most of us are buying in for $20 so I'm not going to sweat it.

We got into a game of five-card draw with wild cards, and I improved three aces to five of a kind. Host and I both had bigger than starting stacks, and it all went in the middle. I showed my five aces, he showed me a royal, and I started to scoop.

"No, I win, I have a royal and that beats everything."
"I'm pretty sure five aces beats everything. You can only get five aces in a wild card game."
"Yeah I guess so, but house rules here are that a royal always wins."
And he scoops the pot.

I was salty, left shortly afterward and didn't go back for a while. Went once more several months later (after the game had gone on a long hiatus), it wasn't that good, and AFAIK it never ran again after that.

EDIT: 1 big blind (bb) not 1 big bet (BB).
 
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Gobbs

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Look at it this way...

In baseball, a perfect game is really just the best kind of no-hitter, but we still keep stats on perfect games because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody pitches a perfect game, we still categorize it as a no-hitter, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of no-hitter. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a perfect game as a 'no-hitter'....it's called a perfect game because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose a no-hitter but you can never lose a perfect game. (NOTE: Technically, with the new extra inning rules in MLB, that's no longer true, but it's been true for well over 100 years.)

In poker, a royal flush is really just the best kind of straight flush, but we still keep stats on royal flushes because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody gets a royal flush, we still categorize it as a straight flush, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of straight flush. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a royal flush as a 'straight flush'....it's called a royal flush because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose with a straight flush but you can never lose with a royal flush. (barring games with wild cards.)
 

RowlettTexasChipGuy

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Look at it this way...

In baseball, a perfect game is really just the best kind of no-hitter, but we still keep stats on perfect games because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody pitches a perfect game, we still categorize it as a no-hitter, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of no-hitter. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a perfect game as a 'no-hitter'....it's called a perfect game because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose a no-hitter but you can never lose a perfect game. (NOTE: Technically, with the new extra inning rules in MLB, that's no longer true, but it's been true for well over 100 years.)

In poker, a royal flush is really just the best kind of straight flush, but we still keep stats on royal flushes because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody gets a royal flush, we still categorize it as a straight flush, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of straight flush. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a royal flush as a 'straight flush'....it's called a royal flush because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose with a straight flush but you can never lose with a royal flush. (barring games with wild cards.)


that is not right a perfect game a no hitter are completely different

a perfect game no one reached base by any means

a no hitter a pitcher can walk batters, give up a runner to an error, even give up runs
 

RudysNYC

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Look at it this way...

In baseball, a perfect game is really just the best kind of no-hitter, but we still keep stats on perfect games because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody pitches a perfect game, we still categorize it as a no-hitter, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of no-hitter. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a perfect game as a 'no-hitter'....it's called a perfect game because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose a no-hitter but you can never lose a perfect game. (NOTE: Technically, with the new extra inning rules in MLB, that's no longer true, but it's been true for well over 100 years.)

In poker, a royal flush is really just the best kind of straight flush, but we still keep stats on royal flushes because it is so completely rare and wonderful. If somebody gets a royal flush, we still categorize it as a straight flush, but it also gets its own category because it's the best kind of straight flush. Plus, you rarely hear somebody refer to a royal flush as a 'straight flush'....it's called a royal flush because it deserves it's own name. Technically, you can lose with a straight flush but you can never lose with a royal flush. (barring games with wild cards.)
This was the closest I've come to being converted lol. I think you're mostly on the money with all of this, and I'm totally cool with the idea of people calling it a royal flush and whatnot I just think it's philosophically misleading to call it it's own "ranking." There's a substantive difference between a perfect game and no-hitter, in that a perfect game is 27 up/27 down while a no-hitter is just that, 0 hits on the board. There's no such thing as a "more perfect" perfect game--it's a binary, either you pitched a perfect game or you didn't pitch a perfect game.

With hand rankings though, that gets a lot more screwy in my head. For example, a 4-8 straight flush is just as much of a straight flush as a 2-6 straight flush, but because of how poker works, we recognize that the 4-8 SF beats the 2-6 SF. The way I see it all, a "royal flush" is the same as a "Broadway" straight. Broadway is the best possible straight one can make, but nobody would call it its own ranking because it's ultimately just a straight. I've heard an argument that RF deserves a separate hand because it's so statistically improbable, but again, the odds of a royal flush are the same as any particular straight flush in the deck--meaning, your T-A SF is as likely as a 2-6 SF.

I will die on the hill that the "royal flush as a separate ranking" only exists because the Playing Card Mafia decided they needed an even number of hands in their handranking charts.
 

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A Royal Flush is definitely its own hand ranking. Considering people may never even make one in their lifetime, there must be a distinction for the absolute best. Also, with a flush and a straight flush being of different ranks, an Ace high flush is still a nut flush even if there is a straight flush possible.
 

Gobbs

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that is not right a perfect game a no hitter are completely different

a perfect game no one reached base by any means

a no hitter a pitcher can walk batters, give up a runner to an error, even give up runs

First, I think you kind of missed the point...
  • A no-hitter is a great game in which the pitcher doesn't give up a hit and is ALMOST unbeatable. A straight flush is a great hand in which the player is ALMOST unbeatable.
  • A perfect game is a type of no hitter in which the pitcher (with assistance from teammates) doesn't allow an opponent to reach base and IS unbeatable. A royal flush is a type of straight flush in which the player IS unbeatable.
Second, to say that a no-hitter and perfect game are completely different is incorrect. All perfect games ARE no-hitters. You can't have a perfect game unless you have a no-hitter. In a Venn diagram, the circle with perfect games is contained completely within the circle showing no-hitters. They are very similar - perfect games just have a stricter criteria (no hitter with nobody reaching base) and royal flushes just have a stricter criteria (straight flush with an ace as the high card). Your mistake, however, does help illustrate my point. Much like a perfect game is so special that people consider it something different than a no-hitter (even though it's really just the best no-hitter), a royal flush is so special that people consider it something different than a straight flush (even though it's really just the best straight flush). When something is considered so special, it can have it's own category and still be in another category, too.
 

Gobbs

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There's no such thing as a "more perfect" perfect game--it's a binary, either you pitched a perfect game or you didn't pitch a perfect game.

I know this is not your point, and it is off topic, but I have a philosophical question for you to which I'm not sure I have formulated my opinion...

Would a 30-out perfect game be better than a 27-out perfect game? Now that we have 7-inning double headers, would a 27-out perfect game be better than a 21-out perfect game? (I realize MLB stipulated that 21-out perfect games (or no-hitters) would not be considered perfect games (or no-hitters) for the record books, but they still would technically be perfect games.)

Strangely, my answer seems to be different for the two questions...which is why I don't like my own opinions on it and why it has me questioning my opinion on the card rankings.
 

RudysNYC

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Much like a perfect game is so special that people consider it something different than a no-hitter
If by "special" you mean "rare," then I see your point, but the odds of a straight flush are the same as any other particular straight flush. A royal flush is as unlikely as a 2-6 straight flush or a 4-8 straight flush, we just recognize that there are 8 straight flushes that aren't ace-high and lump in "straight flushes vs royal flush." The probabilities of any individual straight flush, royal or not, are the same.

Would a 30-out perfect game be better than a 27-out perfect game?
Better? Yes, especially to watch. More perfect? No.

A perfect game is only completed once all batters have been faced and retired in order, so while I think an extra inning of perfect pitching is surely more impressive than even a 9-inning perfect game I don't think it's "more perfect."
 

Gobbs

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If by "special" you mean "rare," then I see your point, but the odds of a straight flush are the same as any other particular straight flush. A royal flush is as unlikely as a 2-6 straight flush or a 4-8 straight flush, we just recognize that there are 8 straight flushes that aren't ace-high and lump in "straight flushes vs royal flush." The probabilities of any individual straight flush, royal or not, are the same.

Thank you...that's the premise I was trying to get to in my head - a royal flush is more rare than a straight flush. Yes, if you look at each combination of a straight flush separately, one is no more rare than any other, but that's not the way I look at it. I want to look at the straight flushes that can be beat vs. the straight flushes that can't be beat. There are nine straight flush combinations that can be beat vs. 1 straight flush that can't be beat (or, if you want to consider suits - 36 that can be beat and four that can't be beat). Therefore, a straight flush is more rare.

Similarly, limiting the possibilities to a 27-out game, there are still multiple ways to throw a no-hitter (facing 28 batters, 29 batters, etc.), yet only one way to throw a perfect game (facing 27 batters). So, now I'm even more comfortable with the analogy and royal flush having it's own category.
 

RudysNYC

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Okay so our frameworks are a little different, I see a straight flush as a perfect game across the board. A straight flush cannot lose to anything other than a higher straight flush, which is when the high card comes in like in every other ranking in poker. Add in the fact that the probabilities of any straight flush are the same as the probability of a royal flush, and I can't in good faith call them different outright rankings. It's a nickname!

Similarly, limiting the possibilities to a 27-out game, there are still multiple ways to throw a no-hitter (facing 28 batters, 29 batters, etc.), yet only one way to throw a perfect game (facing 27 batters). So, now I'm even more comfortable with the analogy and royal flush having it's own category.
You can also face 27 batters and pitch a non-perfect no-hitter, though.

Plus, to go to the heart of the analogy, I think it's illustrative to a point but flawed when you start looking past the big picture into the details. One reason people make a distinction between a perfect game and no hitters is because they're achievements that are earned through stellar play. There's work that goes into it--from the pitcher obviously, but also his fielders and the batters (their work, obviously, having failed). It's something that receives influence across the board--a perfect game is by no means luck, it's a confluence of factors that many individuals can influence at any given point. The distribution of cards, though, is entirely chance. We as poker players do nothing to influence the cards themselves, we can only hope to influence each other and our decisions.

Again, let's be clear... I'm cool calling it a royal flush, since poker hands have lots of nicknames, I just can't bring myself to consider a royal flush a separate ranking from a straight flush. "Royal flush" should be considered more akin to "wheel" in peoples' minds than "four of a kind," I guess--nickname not ranking lol
 
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