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Four of a Kind

What is ‘Four of a Kind’?

Four of a kind is a hand in the famous card game poker. Sometimes known as ‘quads’, four of a kind means you are in possession of a hand that contains four cards of the same rank and one of a different rank (known as the kicker). Four of a kind is the third highest ranking hand a player can achieve in poker, behind the straight flush and a full house.

‘Four of a Kind’ Explained

There are 624 combinations of cards that are classed as four of a kind, with 156 total ranks among those combinations. When ranking this hand, which you would need to do if two or more players in a game have four of a kind, you look first at the rank of the quadruplet, then at the rank of the kicker. So, a hand consisting of four Kings and a 2 would beat a hand consisting of four 7s and a King. This is because the rank of the quadruplet is higher; it doesn’t matter that the kicker is lower. You would only need to compare the kicker in games where it is possible for two people to get the same quadruplet. Incidentally, suits don’t rank any higher than one another.

Getting four of a kind is a very strong hand in a game of poker, and it will not often be beaten. It is, of course, safer to gamble on a higher ranking quadruplet, in case an opponent is also holding four of a kind, but in that instance, the decision is yours to make. There are as many as 311,875,200 ways a five card hand can be dealt from a single deck and over 2.5 million combinations that form a hand that can be played, so this should give you some idea of how rare it is to get one of the 624 possible four of a kind combinations.