Poker is a strategic card game that uses many hands. Understanding what each one is and how they rank is crucial to understanding how poker works. It also helps you to play your hand to its fullest potential during online poker tournaments. Four of a kind is one of the highest-ranking hands you can get.
Four of a Kind in Poker Explained
So what is four of a kind in poker? Simply, it’s when your hand contains one card from each suit and the same numerical, or symbol, value. For example, you get 7s in all the suits — heart, diamond, club, and spade.
How Should You Play Four of a Kind?
Your aim when playing four-of-a-kind poker is to achieve the highest-ranking hand to win. The symbols are ranked from highest to lowest: ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and then 2. If you and your opponent both get hands containing four of a kind, the participant with the highest symbol wins.
How Does a Four of a Kind Hand Rank in Poker?
Four of a kind is the third highest-ranking hand to play when playing poker. In ranking, it follows the royal flush and the straight flush. The royal flush is when you get the highest-ranking symbols, ace, king, queen, jack, and 10, all from the same suit. A straight flush is when you get five cards in a row from the same suit — for example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in hearts. Four of a kind is then followed by the other hands: full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and the high card.
As mentioned, if you and an opponent both get dealt four of a kind, the highest-ranking card will determine who wins. For example, you’ll win the round if you get four 7s and your opponent gets four 3s. If you and your opponent get four of a kind in the same number, the extra fifth card will determine the winner.
Why Aren’t All Super-Strong Hands Created Equal?
Your highest-ranking hands — royal flush, straight flush, and four of a kind — are your super-strong hands. Unfortunately, not all strong hands are created equal, however. There always has to be a winner. Not only do the symbols have their rankings (ace as the highest and 2 as the lowest) but so do the suits.
Suits refer to the four classic symbols on the cards. For the most part, they are considered equal, but they have their rankings when necessary to determine a winner. From highest to lowest, the suits rank as the following: spades, hearts, diamonds, and then clubs. So, if you and your opponent receive a royal flush, the player with the highest-ranking suit wins.
Playing in Position Versus Playing Out of Position
There are many strategies that seasoned poker players adopt, but to assume these strategies, they have to know the positions that they are playing in. Two of these positions are in position and out of position.
Playing in Position
Poker is played clockwise in a circle, with the person to the left of the dealer button going first. Players who are in position have the best advantage. When in position, you can see how much the opponents are betting, allowing you to strategize according to their bets. In-position players can win more chips when playing their good hands and strategizing correctly.
Playing Out of Position
Playing out of position is more challenging than playing in position. Whatever move you make, the opponents after you act according to that. Out-of-position players play first by placing their bets. Out-of-position players must not give away their hands and act accordingly. Different strategies help out-of-position players to achieve this. One of these strategies includes not going all in with bets. It’s better to play it safe to prevent experiencing a downswing.
Playing Four of a Kind in Texas Hold’Em
Poker games have many different versions, including Texas Hold’em, with many players now enjoying playing Texas Hold’em poker online. The aim of this variant is to place strategic bets to get your opponents to lose confidence in their hands and fold.
As with other variants, bets are made depending on where you’re sitting at the table from the dealer (this includes playing online poker.) The person on the left of the dealer button places a small “blind” bet, and the person on their left will place a bigger “blind” bet. These bets are placed at the beginning of each round as they start the betting process. After the blind bets, the remaining players have three options: raise, call, or fold. Every player will get a turn to start with blind bets in each round. The community cards are dealt after all the betting is complete.
Texas Hold’em uses the same hand-ranking system as every other poker variant, with royal flush, straight flush, and four of a kind being the highest-ranking hands. To play four of a kind in Texas Hold’em, you make combinations using your two private cards and the three community cards in the middle. Remember, you only achieve four of a kind when dealt the same card number from each of the four suits. If another opponent also achieves four of a kind, the player with the highest suit wins.
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