With this article, you can learn more about how kickers work in different poker variants.
UNDERSTAND WHAT A KICKER IS IN A POKER GAME
In a poker game, a kicker poker is an extra card used to break ties between players with the same hand rank.
WHAT POKER VARIANTS ARE KICKERS IN?
Kickers come into play in various poker variants. These games form the hand with community cards and a player’s hole cards. Understanding kickers may help you win more games.
WHAT CARD WILL DETERMINE WINNING IN A KICKER POKER?
The card that determines the winning hand is the kicker. For example, say two players have a pair of kings, and one player has a better kicker (a higher card). In this case, they would win the hand. The same applies to those who have three-of-a-kind.
The better kicker adds more power to the three-of-a-kind hand, making it stronger.
TWO PLAYERS WITH THE SAME KICKER – WHAT NOW?
When two players have the same high card, the tiebreaker comes down to the next highest card. If the second card is the same, they move on to the third-highest cards.
This process continues until one punter is left with the highest card.
KICKER RANKING IN POKER GAME
In poker, kickers are ranked based on their value. The highest-value card is the ace, followed bythe king, queen, down to the two. Knowing the ranking of kickers is essential to determine the strength of your poker hand.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULES FOR USING THE KICKER IN POKER
To make the most of this card, remember these key rules:
- Always play your highest kicker with a made hand.
- Know all five cards you are playing.
- Pay attention to the cards on the table and consider how they might affect the kickers.
- Be aware that kickers come into play when players have poker hands of equal rank.
- Understand that a better kicker can give you an edge over your opponent.
KICKER POKER IN PRACTICE
From full houses to straights, knowing how the kicker works is important.
Player 1: Ace of Spades, King of Hearts
Player 2: Ace of Clubs, Queen of Diamonds
Board: Nine of Diamonds, Seven of Clubs, Fuve of Hearts, Three of Spades, Two of Diamonds
Both players have a pair of aces. However, Player 1 wins because their king kicker is higher than Player 2’s queen kicker.
Player 1: Jack of Diamonds, 10 of Spades
Player 2: Jack of Clubs, Nine of Hearts
Board: Ace of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Clubs, Eight of Spades, Five of Clubs
Both players have a straight. However, Player 1 wins because their 10 kicker is higher than Player 2’s nine kicker.
Player 1: Eight of Clubs, Six of Diamonds
Player 2: Eight of Spades, Six of Hearts
Board: Eight of Hearts, Seven of Diamonds, Five of Spades, Four of Clubs, Two of Hearts
Both players have a two pair. The second player wins because their seven kicker is higher than the first player’s six kicker. This is even with them both having a two pair.
HOW KICKERS WORK IN A TEXAS HOLD’EM HAND
Each player receives two hole cards in Texas hold ’em. Players must then combine their hole cards with the community cards on the table, creating strong poker hands. Kickers will help determine the winner as they can turn a non-winning hand into a made hand. They also apply to any hand one pair, two pair, etc.
Kickers in poker add an exciting twist to the game, making it more challenging and strategic. Understanding how kickers work can significantly improve your chances of winning, especially for new players.
Remember to pay attention to the highest kicker, break ties using the second-highest card, and play smart.
✅ What is a sidekick?
An additional card used to break ties. It is needed when two or more players have the same rank of hand in poker.
✅ What is a ‘bad’ kicker?
This refers to a lower-ranked card that would be compared to an opponent’s higher kicker.
✅ What is a downswing in kicker poker?
A ‘downswing’ refers to a period of unfavourable outcomes.
✅ What size of bet should I choose?
The size of your bet should depend on various factors. These include hand strength, the board runs, and assessing the hand of your opponent.
✅ Will my bet call any weaker hands?
Your bet may entice weaker hands to call. This would happen if they believed they could win or improve their hand. Check your other card to make sure this is a good move.