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The Four of a Kind Hand in Poker

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Four-of-a-Kind is second on the list of standard poker hand rankings and consists of four cards of the same rank.

The best 4-of-a-Kind hand is made up of four Aces:

AAAA

In this hand ranking, it’s the rank or the denomination that’s most important. For instance, JJJJ is a Four-of-a-Kind hand that beats any of the lower ranked hands, like 4-of-a-Kind Tens, Nines, and so on.

Here are a few more examples of this type of hand:

2222

KKKK

QQQQ

Can you work out which hand(s) would beat the 4-of-a-Kind Jacks? Keep in mind that the suits are irrelevant – only the ranks matter.

How Does a 4-of-a-Kind Hand Rank?

In a 52-card deck, there are 624 possible 4-of-a-Kind hand combinations and 156 distinct ranks of 4-of-a-Kind. As poker hands are made up of 5 cards, the kicker does come into play here.

For example, hand 555510 would rank higher than 55557.

However, hand KKKK2 ranks higher than QQQQA even though the Quad Queens has an ace kicker and the Quad Kings has a two kicker.

In this hand ranking, you need to keep in mind that it’s the rank/denomination that is the most important. Four-of-a-Kind Aces will always bear 4-of-a-Kind Kings, and Quad Kings will always beat Quad Queens, and so forth.

How Does a 4-of-a-Kind Hand Match Up?

Four-of-a-Kind is the second best possible hand in the poker hand ranking system. Only a Straight Flush ranks above it. Therefore, this is a very strong hand in Hold’em and is rarely beat on the river.

That said, there are still many hands that rank under it. The next best hand on the list is called a Full House.

The best Full House is the Aces full of Kings. With all the suits considered equal, in Full Houses, the ranks determine which one is best.

4-of-a-Kind Poker Probabilities

Now, we’ll look at the pre-flop, flop, turn and river probabilities of making 4-of-a-Kind in both Hold’em and Omaha.

Hold'em Probabilities        
Pre-flop:   0.02%   (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck)
Flop:   0.25%   (when holding a pair)
Turn:   2.12%   (from a flop with 1 ranked card)
River:   2.17%   (on a board with 1 ranked card)
Omaha Probabilities        
Pre-flop:   0.02%   (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck)
Flop:   0.28%   (when holding a pair)
Flop:   0.53%   (when holding 2 pair)
Turn:   2.22%   (from a flop with 1 ranked card)
River:   2.27%   (on a board with 1 ranked card)

Now that you’ve got Four-of-Kind down pat, we’ll move on to the next hand on the list. It’s called the Full House.

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