I'm relatively new to poker so bare with me.

Community cards: J, Q, K, 2, 4
P1: A,6
P2: Q,Q

A site determined that P2 won with three of the kind. Is this wrong? How does player P1 not win with a straight by playing only 1 hole card? The way this was graded confuses me!

  • 1
    P1 does not have a straight. P1s best hand is A,K,Q,J,6 Apr 15, 2020 at 15:06
  • 1
    can you explain when you are allowed to play one hole card?
    – moam8732
    Apr 15, 2020 at 15:14
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    Personally I think it would be better to not try to fit this question under the umbrella of the other question. Even though the asker didn't realize it; the question was one of poker terminology (not knowing what qualified as a "straight") while the linked question is one of how to properly compare 2 hands to determine which is better. Just because the answer to the other question can be made more comprehensive to include the definition of a straight doesn't mean that this is a duplicate question.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 15, 2020 at 19:33
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    With the edits I agree that this question should be reopened as it is now clear about what is being asked and not a duplicate of what is a winning hand.
    – Joe W
    Apr 15, 2020 at 20:45
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    @moam8732 What you think of is called round-the-corner straight. This does exist as a variant in house rules, but is not a part of the official poker rules. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-standard_poker_hand Apr 18, 2020 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


The problem is that a straight cannot be made with an Ace in the middle of the straight. Ace can be considered either the lowest card (forming a straight with A, 2, 3, 4, 5); or the highest card (forming a straight with 10, J, Q, K, A). It cannot be both low and high at the same time; so J, Q, K, A, 2 is not a straight.

In the case of this hand, player 1's best hand is A,K,Q,J,6; which doesn't form any combination; it is simply an Ace-high hand.


The ace is the highest-ranking card in the deck, followed by the king, the queen, the jack, and the numbered cards in order. The 2 is the lowest-ranking card. In some hands, however (such as the straight and straight flush), an ace can be used as a "1" card - Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 is a valid straight, as is 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace. The ace cannot be in the middle; one cannot form a straight with Queen-King-Ace-2-3.

Another source, since there is no one difinitive rulebook for Poker to cite:

The best possible straight in poker is the Ace-high straight (TJQKA) often referred to as “broadway”. The Ace can also be used to formulate the lowest possible straight A2345, often referred to as “the wheel”. Note however that it is not possible for the Ace to appear in the middle of a made straight. I.e. QKA23 is actually just Ace-high, not a straight.

Note that you never get to choose "how many" hole cards you play. You always play a total of 5 cards; whichever 5 of the 7 options give you the best hand. IF player 1 had been holding a 10 instead of a 2, then player 1 would automatically play 10, J, Q, K, A; and would win the hand because of the straight, playing 1 hole card as you suggest.

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