Have you been playing poker for a while? Well, you would already be familiar with poker hands rankings that help you to determine the strength of the hand that you possess. There is a long list of such hands, and ‘full house’ is one such hand that is quite powerful. But how powerful is the full house in poker?

To put things in perspective, there are just two other possible hands, straight flush, and four-of-a-kind, that can beat a 'full house'. So, it is very powerful and can help you win bets/games in different poker game variations.

So, what exactly does the full house in poker indicate? How can you identify full house cards while playing poker tournaments? Let us know more details about the same here.

Basic Rules of Full House in Poker

How do you make a full house in poker? You simply must form it by combining three cards of the same rank with two cards of another rank. In other words, you combine ‘three of a kind’ with ‘a pair’ to make the full house poker with five cards. These full house cards are also known as boats or full boats.

Let Us Understand Full House as per Poker Rules, with Examples Below:

  • AAAKK
    This hand represents the best possible full house or strongest full house. It comprises three aces of the same rank along with two kings of another rank. In terms of full house language, such a hand is called 'Aces Full of Kings' as per the convention ‘full of his hand represents the best possible full house or strongest full house. It comprises three aces of the same rank along with two kings of another rank. In terms of full house language, such a hand is called 'Aces Full of Kings' as per the convention ‘full of’.

    Do remember that 'Aces Full of Kings' is the strongest full-house hand possible which can beat any other full house hand. As the naming convention used for full house talks about the three cards first and then the pair, it will always be 'Aces Full' for the strongest full house hand.

    Please note that the most important criteria here are the rank/denomination. There is no relevance to the order of the suits. So, you will always have 'Aces Full' beat 'Kings Full' or 'Queens Full' in a full house.p

Let us consider another example to get more clarity about how to understand the rank of a full house hand. Say you are playing poker with another player and both of you manage to get a full house as under:

You (Player 1) – KKKQQ

Opponent (Player 2) – QQQAA

Who do you think has the stronger full house hand? It is you. How? The ‘Kings Full’ always beats the ‘Queens full’, i.e. the stronger ‘three of a kind’ gives you the edge even though the opponent has a pair of aces. So, it is always the ‘three of a kind’ that is considered first, followed by the ‘pair’.

In cases where both the players have the same ‘three of a kind’ in the full house, then, the ‘pair’ will become the deciding factor. Such situations can arise when you are playing any poker variant with two decks of 52 cards. Let us understand this with the same example as above with a different set of card combinations for the full house hand:

You (Player 1) – AAA99

Opponent (Player 2) – AAA88

In the above situation, both you and the opponent would feel confident about winning the bet with your full house hand because both of you have the strongest possible 'three of a kind' in your full house. But here the winner will be decided by who has the strongest possible ‘pair’ since it’s a tie for the ‘three of a kind’. As your pair of 9s is higher than the opponent’s pair of 8s, you will be the winner here!

Probability of Full House in Popular Poker Variants

It is comparatively harder to make a full house in Texas Hold’em Poker than in Omaha Poker. So, a full house poker hand is comparatively a stronger hand in Hold’em than in Omaha. This means that the strength of the full house does depend on the poker variant that you are playing.

Probability of Full House in Different Betting Rounds

You start with the following betting rounds (sequentially) in the game of poker:

  • Pre-Flop.
  • The Flop.
  • The Turn.
  • The River.

As you only receive the hole cards in the pre-flop round and are yet to receive the community cards, the chances of creating a full house here are minimal. With the flop round, your probability of creating the full house poker hand increases as compared to the pre-flop because you get a few community cards to play with. This probability increases further in the turn round and finally reaches the highest in the river round, as you get one additional community card in each of these rounds.

You need to be careful with placing a bet on a full house. While it is a strong hand in several poker variants because it can potentially lose to only two other hands, four of a kind and straight flush, there are chances of your full house hand losing to other stronger full houses managed by your opponents. This makes it critical for you to be cautious if the risks and bets involved are high. You should target having the strongest possible ‘three of a kind’ in your full house.

How Does a Full House Hand Rank?

Considering that there are 52 cards in a deck, there are 3,744 hand combinations of full house and 156 ranks of the full house. 
As per the poker full house rules, to judge the strength of full house, the first three cards are used. For example, there are two poker hands:

  1. KKKAA.
  2. AAAKK.

Which one from these two will win?’

The second poker hand will win because there are three aces in the second poker hand, whereas there are three kings in the first poker hand.
Now, let us consider another example. 

There are two Poker Hands:

  1. 888JJ.
  2. 444AA.

As we saw earlier, three cards are considered for judging the strength of a poker hand. In the two examples above, 8 is bigger than 4. Therefore, the first poker hand is stronger than the second poker hand. The first poker hand has JJ, whereas the second poker hand has AA. Although the second poker hand has AA, which is bigger than JJ, it makes no difference. The three 8s are bigger than the 4s. Therefore, the first poker hand is the winning hand.

How Does a Full House Hand Match Up?

The full house is an amazing poker hand. It is in the third position. The royal flush and straight flush are the top two poker hands. As per the poker full house rules, all the other poker hands are below the full house. Four of a kind, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and high card are below the full house.

Full House Poker Probabilities

Let us have a look at the full house poker probabilities now.

Probability of Full House in Texas Hold’Poker

Preflop 0.14% When 5 cards are drawn randomly from a pack of 52 cards.
Flop 0.09% When you hold three of a kind with a pocket pair.
Turn 12.77% Considering the set on the flop.
River 19.57% Considering the set on the turn.

Probability of Full House in Omaha Poker

Preflop 0.14% When 5 cards are drawn randomly from a pack of 52 cards.
Flop 0.65% When you hold three of a kind.
Turn 13.33% When you hold three of a kind.
River 20.45% When you hold three of a kind.

The Verdict

Making a full house could put you in a strong position in several games of poker. However, you need to consider that there are just two stronger hands possible than a full house. At the same time, there are many full house combinations that can possibly be higher than yours – so you could potentially lose to them. Thus, your aim should always be to create the strongest possible full house in poker by following the various poker full house rules discussed here.

You can practise achieving the goal of creating a full house hand in poker by playing online poker at Spartan Poker. Just download the Spartan Poker app and start playing poker online.

Frequently Asked Questions Full House Poker

What beats a full house in poker?

Four of a Kind beats a full house in poker.

Is a full house good in poker?

Yes. A full house is a good poker hand. It is the fourth-highest hand in poker. 

What if 2 players have a full house?

If 2 players have a full house, the player who has a higher three of a kind wins. For example, in two poker hands 7-7-7-8-8 and 4-4-4-J-J, the poker hand 7-7-7-8-8 wins.

Is 7 8 9 10 anything in poker?

7 8 9 10 is not a poker hand but if the fifth card is 6 or J,  a straight can be formed.