What Is Four of a Kind?
Four of a kind is a poker hand consisting of four cards of the same ranking and an additional card of any value, known as the kicker.
The hand is also popularly known as the quads, and the most popular example is four aces, i.e. Ah As Ad Ac, with the fifth card pretty much irrelevant.
When two or more players have four of a kind, the winner is the one with the strongest ranking cards, so four aces are the best possible four of a kind hand you can have.
When you’re dealt 4 of a kind, you have one of the strongest poker hands in existence and there is very little, if anything, to worry about.
For those new to poker and wondering what beats four of a kind, the answer is not very much. This hand only loses to better four of a kind hands and straight flushes.
The scenario in which you have the quads against an opponent’s straight flush or better quads is very rare. So rare, in fact, that most players don’t even consider it when making their decisions and treat 4 of a kind as the absolute nuts, even if there are better hands possible.
Four of a Kind Odds
As you’d expect, four of a kind odds aren’t particularly high and you won’t see this hand very often at the tables. Generally speaking, you can expect to flop quads roughly once in every 3,300 flops or so across all hands.
As for more precise four of a kind probabilities, they are as follows:
- Flopping quads with any pocket pair: 0.24%
- Flopping quads with any starting hand (two random cards): 0.03%
After you already have three of a kind on the flop, your odds of making four of a kind by the river are about 4.3%. You have one and only one out and two chances to catch it, so the chances of completing your 4 of a kind poker hand aren’t that bad.