What is Four of a Kind in Poker?

Four of a Kind is one of the best poker hands you can get. As the name makes clear, the hand comprises four cards of the same rank, plus any other card. It is also known as "quads".

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind

What Does Four of a Kind Look Like?

Four cards in a Four of a Kind hand are the same rank, along with an extra fifth card which can be any rank. Here are some examples:

  1. Aicon-suit-spade, Aicon-suit-heart, Aicon-suit-club, Aicon-suit-diamond, 5icon-suit-club

  2. Jicon-suit-club, Jicon-suit-spade, Jicon-suit-diamond, Jicon-suit-heart, 9icon-suit-heart

  3. 7icon-suit-diamond, 7icon-suit-club, 7icon-suit-heart, 7icon-suit-spade, Kicon-suit-diamond

  4. 4icon-suit-heart, 4icon-suit-spade, 4icon-suit-diamond, 4icon-suit-club, 10icon-suit-spade

How Does Four of a Kind Rank?

Although Four of a Kind is not the highest hand in poker, it is still one of the best that players can get. It ranks under a Straight Flush (and Royal Straight Flush) but above all other hands including a Full House, a Flush, a Straight, and other lower poker hand values.

What Beats Four of a Kind?

Rank

Hand Names

Example

Hand Description

1

Royal Flush

Royal Flush hand eg

10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.

2

Straight Flush

straight flush hand eg

Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.

3

Four of a Kind

four of a kind hand eg

The same card in each of the four suits.

4

Full House

full house hand eg

A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.

5

Flush

flush hand eg

Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.

6

Straight

straight hand eg

Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.

7

Three of a Kind

three of a kind hand eg

Three of one card and two non-paired cards.

8

Two Pair

two pair hand eg

Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.

9

One Pair

one pair hand eg

One pairing of the same card.

10

High Card

high card hand eg

No matching cards

The rank of a Four of a Kind hand is determined by the value of the four cards, so if multiple players each have Four of a Kind the higher ranked quads would win. For example, four 6s (plus an extra card) represent a stronger hand than four 5s (plus an extra card), but a weaker one than four 7s (plus an extra card).

If more than one player has the same Four of a Kind, the highest ranked kicker (the fifth card) determines the winner.

How Should You Play Four of a Kind in Texas Hold’em?

Four of a Kind is an incredibly strong poker hand and making this hand in a game of Hold'em should give you plenty of confidence.

Of course, there do exist two more superior hands in a Royal Flush or Straight Flush, but it's rare that both quads and a straight flush will be possible on the same board. If no straight flush is possible, given the community cards available, you can generally assume you have the winning hand.

The other potential danger to a Four of a Kind hand is losing to a higher Four of a Kind. However, any quads will need at least a pair on the board, so by paying attention to the best possible hands for the board you are playing, you should have a good idea whether or not you have "the nuts". Most of the time, with quads, you will.

Four of a Kind Probabilities

There are 13 ranks in a standard deck of 52 cards, each of which comes in four suits. All four cards of the same rank in a hand create a Four of a Kind. With the added fifth card, there are a total of 624 different ways to make Four of a Kind.

In this instance, we will focus on the odds of being dealt the Four of a Kind on the flop. Meaning a player will have five cards – consisting of their two hole cards and the three flop cards.

Number of ways to make the hand

(not including different suits)

Number of ways to make the hand

(including different suits)

Odds of getting a Four of a Kind

Probability of getting

a Four of a Kind

156

624

1 / 4,165

0.0240%

The odds of being dealt Four of a Kind on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. For more on odds, including the probability of winning any given hand on the flop, turn, and/or river, have a play with our poker odds calculator.

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