what is a full house in poker

What Is A Full House In Poker? This Is The Trick That Will Change Your Life!

| October 18, 2023 | Poker

To be good at Poker, you need to know about the hierarchy of Poker hands. If you are not familiar with the various potential hands as well as their rankings, you can end up misplaying your own hand. And just lose out on a critical pot.

So, what is a full house in poker?

In Poker, a full house is a type of card hand. It’s unique and solid and known for combining a pair and a three-of-a-kind. Known as one of the best Poker hands, a full house is not really the best if you think about it. You can easily beat a full house with straight flushes (including the Royal flush) and straight flushes.

In the history of Poker, one of the most memorable full houses is the 2003 WSOP Main Event’s final hand.

With a killer J♠5♠4♣ flop, Chris Moneymaker actually flopped 2-pair even while holding 5♦4♠ versus the top pair of Sammy Farha as he was holding J♥10♦. After going all-in post-flop, the game’s dealer simply turned the  8♦ and then rivered the 5♥ – this completed the winning full house of Moneymaker, changing Poker forever.

What Is A Full House In Poker?

Full House In Poker

So, what is a full house in Poker?

In Poker, a full house is a 5-card hand comprising a 3-of-a-kind as well as a pair. You can also call it a full boat. It is commonly shortened to only a boat. In a game of Poker, a full house is known as a very strong hand. And is often known as the winning Poker hand.

Although this particular hand usually outranks most common Poker hands, a full house is not entirely unbeatable.

Full House Rankings:

Full House Rankings

The third-highest hand in a game of normal poker hand rankings is the full house. Technically the fourth largest if you do count royal flushes separately, keeping it aside from the straight flushes.

The full house usually marks a kind of transition between the rarer monster hands and the more common hands. It is right below a four-of-a-kind and above a flush in value.

Who Beats A Full House In Poker?

Who Beats A Full House In Poker

A full house happens to be one of the best Poker hands, but it can be beaten as well. Perhaps, one of the most notable losses for Full House in the history of Poker is an unbelievable hand between Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu, two major Poker superstars.

Hansen was dealt with 5♦5♣., while Negreanu was dealt with 6♠6♥ in one hand during season2 of High Stakes Poker, a popular television show. When the dealer ended up flopping 9♣6♦5♥, both the players responded by hitting a set or three-of-a-kind.

Since Hansen was actually drawing all except being dead to a single card, Negreanu managed to get a stranglehold. However, when the absolute miracle 5♠ ended up falling on the turn, Hansen simply catapulted into the lead, clinching the hand when his 8♠ fell on the river.

Once everyone was all in, Hansen won an iconic $575,700 pot, the largest pot in the history of High Stakes Poker.

The hands that can beat a full house are as follows in an accurate order,

  • Royal flush: Ace – King – Jack – Ten, all in the very same suit, which beats all other straight flushes.
  • All Other Straight Flushes: 5 consecutive cards in the very same suit, which beats four-of-a-kind.
  • Four-of-a-Kind: four cards that are of a single rank accompanied by a kicker from any other rank can beat a Full House.

What Poker Hands Does A Full House Beat? 

What Poker Hands Does A Full House Beat

If any player is dealt with a full house, they can simply rest knowing that they have a more common shot at winning the pot. The three-and-two card mix of the whole full house in Poker beats multiple common and several more typical hands.

In different Poker games, players need to meet certain criteria to obtain a hand as a probable result. For instance, in a game of no-limit hold ’em, a player cannot just have a full house. At least, until there is at least one pair on the main board.

As for a seven-card stud game, since three cards are facing down, full houses can actually be hidden. This is an extremely dangerous and powerful move.

A full house typically beats:

  • Flush – 5 cards of the very same suit that aren’t consecutive, which goes on to beat:
  • Straight – an entire run of 5 consecutive cards at least in two suits, which goes on to beat:
  • Three-of-a-kind – 3 cards of the very same rank, plus 2 other cards of non-matching and differing ranks, which goes on to beat:
  • Pair – 2 cards of the very same rank, plus 3 other cards of non-matching and differing ranks, which goes on to beat:
  • High card – 5 cards of differing ranks in two suits at least.

Who Wins If Both Players Have A Full House?

Who Wins If Both Players Have A Full House

In rare examples, 2 opponents who could both have full houses typically lead to a huge pot. When 2 really good poker hands go up against one another in the very same hand, such as this one, we commonly refer to it as a ‘cooler.’

Where 2 full houses go up against each other, the actual rank of the 3-of-a-kind settles the main difference. For instance, 5♠5♥5♦6♠6♦ will beat 4♠4♥4♦K♠K♣.

While playing with a normal deck, there are only 4 cards from each rank. This indicates there might never be a draw between the 2 full houses. Except in certain games where the cards are actually shared (most commonly flop games such as hold’em) or even wild cards are used. In such cases, wherever possible, the pair ends up breaking ties.

The Probabilities Of A Full House:

The actual odds of getting dealt with a full house from the top of a freshly shuffled deck is only about 0.1441%

This is due to the simple fact that in a normal deck of 52 cards, there are about 3744 combinations making a full house out of a total of 2598960 probable hands. This happens to be equivalent to odds of about 693-to-1.

For comparison, the basic odds of obtaining a royal flush is about 0.000154%. At the same time, a high hand is about 50.112%, and a straight is 0.3925%.

Examples Of Full Houses:

Some of the best examples of full houses are as follows:

  • 2♠2♥2♣A♠A♥
  • 9♠9♥9♦J♥J♣
  • K♠K♣K♦Q♠Q♥

Here, they are actually ordered from the lowest to the highest rank since we have prioritized the rank of the 3-of-a-kind. In fact, 2♠2♥2♣A♠A♥ is often described at different showdowns as “a full house, twos (or deuces) over aces.” It is also probable you might have heard this elided as “a boat, deuces of aces.”

And It’s A Wrap!

Now that you are aware of what is a full house in Poker, it’s best to acquire some more knowledge about Poker strategies that can enhance your gameplay before you participate in real cash games. Just remember that commonly, full houses are perhaps one of the best Poker hands out there. And it’s always worth playing your game aggressively.

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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.


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