People who aren’t poker game players often use the phrase ‘full house‘ to refer to situations where all the seats are taken.
The meaning is similar in the context of poker hands.
Also known as a full boat, the full house poker hand is a very strong hand in many poker variants, even though it loses out to quite a few poker hands.
That said, full house hands are more common than one may think, which is why being conversant about the full house poker hand will definitely bear fruit.
In this blog, we at LV BET have explored the strength, probability and effectiveness of the full house poker hand in the context of multiple poker games, but especially Texas hold’em.
FULL HOUSE IN POKER HAND RANKINGS
Full boats are the fourth best hand in the poker hand rankings chart.
As you can see below, the full house hand is preceded by royal flushes, a straight flush and a four of a kind.
If you want to find out more about traditional poker hand rankings, feel free to check out our dedicated blog.
The hierarchy of poker rankings typically follows this order in Texas hold’em poker games:
- Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, all in the same suit. For example, ace, K, Q, J and 10 would make a royal (straight) flush. This is the best hand that sits at the top of the hand rankings.
- Straight Flush: Straight flushes are made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit, but not the highest-ranking ones.
- Four of a Kind: Also known as quads, this hand includes four cards of equal rank.
- Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in consecutive order. An ace, 10, 6, 3 and 2 of spades make an ace-high flush, since the ace is the highest-ranking card in the hand. A king high flush would be K, Q, J, 8 and 3 of clubs, for example.
- Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits. (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 makes a seven high straight). Ace to five makes an ace high straight. A Broadway Straight refers to a 10 to A straight.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the matching rank.
- Two Pair: Two sets of pairs.
- One Pair: Two cards of the same value. Two 10s make a pair. Pair hands loses to all poker hands except high card hands. A pair wins against lower ranked pairs, as well.
- High Card: The highest card in your hand when no other combinations are present.
HOW IS A FULL HOUSE STRUCTURED?
The rank of the first three cards determines the strength of the full house.
For example, three 5s and a pair of 2s make a full house in poker, which would be called fives full of twos.
THREE CARDS OF THE SAME RANK, WHAT’S NEXT?
The remaining two cards in a full house do not have to be of the same rank; they can be of a different rank.
These two different cards are often called “the pair.”
The key to a full house is having three different cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, making it a powerful and unique hand in poker.
FULL HOUSE IN POKER – THE CARDS SAME SUIT
Unlike some other poker hands, does not require the cards to be of the same suit. The only requirement is the rank of the cards.
This means that you can have a full house with three different cards of the same rank but of different suits.
For example, three aces and two 8s make a full house, which would be called aces full of eights.
WHAT BEATS FULL HOUSE ON THE POKER TABLE?
One glance at the poker hand rankings chart shows that certain hands beat the full house hand.
Such hands include royal flushes, straight flush hands and the four of a kind.
Although the full house hand is a strong hand, even the best possible full house (aces full of kings) will lose out to the hands we’ve mentioned above.
FULL HOUSE VS ROYAL FLUSH
Royal flushes occupy the highest rank in poker, and it is the only hand that can consistently beat a full house.
Royal flushes consist of the aces, kings, queens, jacks, and 10s of a single suit.
It’s an extremely rare and powerful hand, and it is almost always the winning hand.
IS FULL HOUSE ALWAYS WORSE THAN STRAIGHT FLUSH?
Similarly to royal flushes, straight flush hands beat full houses every single time.
Straight flushes consist of five cards in sequential order of identical suit, such as 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of hearts.
These hands are higher than the full house hand rank, which means that they will beat it in a showdown.
PROBABILITY OF HITTING FULL HOUSE IN POKER
Should one wonder, “Is the full house good?” all one must do is look at the full house poker probabilities.
Here’s a breakdown of the probability involved in making full houses:
Probability of getting a pair in your hole cards:
- There are 13 possible ranks to choose from at least one pair.
- There are four suits for each rank, so there are (13*6) = 78 ways to choose a pair.
Probability of getting a three-of-a-kind from the community cards:
- One of the rank’s cards for the pair has already been used, leaving three different cards of that rank remaining in the deck.
- Out of the 50 remaining unknown cards, the probability of hitting a matching card on the flop is 3/50.
If one succeeds on the flop, they need to hit one more of the same rank out of the 47 remaining unknown cards on the turn (probability 3/47).
To calculate the total probability, one must multiply the probability of getting a pair as hole cards by the probability of getting a three of a kind from the community cards:
The total probability would therefore be calculated as such: (78*3/50* 3/47) ≈ 0.00402, or about 0.402%.
FULL HOUSE OR ROYAL FLUSH – WHAT CAN YOU GET FASTER
Although the full house poker probabilities aren’t very good, getting royal flushes in poker is exceedingly rare and considered a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.
While the allure of royal flushes is undeniable, a full house is a hand that one is more likely to encounter during their poker journey.
After all, a full house ranks quite high, which means that it beats quite a range of hands.
FULL HOUSE POKER EXAMPLES
Let’s explore a couple of examples to illustrate what a full house looks like in a poker game.
A hand consisting of Kc, Kd, Kh, 7d, 7c would make a full house of kings full of sevens poker hand.
A hand consisting of Ad, Ah, Ac, 5c, 5d would result in a full house of aces full of fives poker hand.
HOW TO PLAY FULL HOUSE IN TEXAS HOLD’EM AND OMAHA POKER
A full house hand is strong, and knowing how to play it strategically is crucial.
Let’s examine how to maximise the potential of a full house in two popular poker variants.
FULL HOUSE IN TEXAS HOLD’EM
In Texas Hold’em, a Full House can be both a blessing and a potential trap. Here are some key strategies:
- Conceal your strength: Avoid revealing your full house too early to keep opponents guessing.
- Betting strategy: Depending on the community cards, you might want to play aggressively to build the pot or slow-play to entice opponents to bet more.
- Bet on your pocket pair pre-flop: A pocket pair pre-flop can result in many hands (two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, etc.), so don’t be afraid to value bet early on. Full house hands could be just around the corner.
FULL HOUSE IN OMAHA
On to the next poker variant: Omaha.
In Omaha poker, having a Full House can be even more powerful, given the four initial cards.
Key considerations include:
- Starting hand selection: Choose your initial cards wisely, focusing on the potential to create a Full House.
- Position at the table: Your position can significantly impact your decisions and strategies.
CONCLUSION – GET STRONG POSITION WITH A FULL HOUSE HAND
Full house in poker is a hand that embodies the essence of the game — strategy, skill, and a dash of luck.
When you find yourself with a full house, seize the opportunity to control the game, build the pot, and outwit your opponents.
While it may not be the absolute best hand in poker, a well-played full house can lead to impressive victories.
✅ WHEN DOES FULL HOUSE WIN?
A full house typically wins in most poker variants when it faces off against weaker hands.
It is a strong hand that can dominate common hands like a pair, two pairs, and a three of a kind poker hand.
However, it is essential to be cautious when opponents show signs of having four of a kind or a straight flush, as these hands can beat full houses.
✅ WHAT IF TWO PLAYERS IN THE SAME HAND HAVE A FULL HOUSE?
In a full house hand match off, the best three of a kind wins in that particular hand.
For instance, a jack full of fives beats a nine full of 10s, since the three jacks rank higher than the three 10s.
In this case, the other full house hand has a better pair but a worse three of a kind, making it the losing hand.
✅ WHAT IS THE VALUE OF ACES IN FULL HOUSE?
Aces can be used in a full house just like any other rank.
For example, aces full of kings (A-A-A-K-K) is the most powerful hand of all full houses.
Conversely, the lowest rank a full house can have in a standard deck of cards is twos full of threes (2-2-2-3-3).