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What is a Three of a Kind in Poker?

Three of a Kind
Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind consists of three cards that have the same rank and an extra two cards that don’t form a pair. The denomination of the cards also determines the rank of the combination.

What does Three of a Kind look like?

The name should be more than enough to give players an idea of what the hand looks like. You can find several depictions right here:

  1. A♠, A♣, A♦, J♥, 4♣
  2. Q♥, Q♦, Q♠, A♦, 8♦
  3. 9♣, 9♠, 9♥, K♥, 7♣
  4. 2♦, 2♣, 2♠, J♥, 10♠

How does Three of a Kind rank?

Three of a Kind is in the bottom half ofall poker handsrankings. It is under a Straight and above Two Pairs. The hand can also be ranked based on the denomination of the three matching cards in case two or more players have Three of a Kind in the same round. Three Aces represent the strongest Three of a Kind poker hand.

What Beats Three of a Kind?
Rank
Hand Name
Example
Hand Description
1
10
suit-hearts
J
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
K
suit-hearts
A
suit-hearts
10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.
2
4
suit-clubs
5
suit-clubs
6
suit-clubs
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
3
10
suit-hearts
7
suit-diamonds
7
suit-clubs
7
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
The same card in each of the four suits.
4
K
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
J
suit-diamonds
A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
5
6
suit-hearts
8
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
3
suit-hearts
10
suit-hearts
Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
6
10
suit-diamonds
9
suit-spades
8
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
6
suit-spades
Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
7
2
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-diamonds
Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
8
Q
suit-diamonds
4
suit-hearts
4
suit-diamonds
A
suit-spades
A
suit-diamonds
Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
9
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Q
suit-hearts
5
suit-clubs
5
suit-spades
One pairing of the same card.
10
2
suit-hearts
3
suit-clubs
7
suit-diamonds
Q
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
No matching cards.

There are some definitions involving Three of a Kind in Texas Hold'em. If the combination is made with a pocket pair and one community card, it is called a "set". If the player only uses one hole card and two community cards, the hand is known as "trips".

How should you play Three of a Kind in Hold’em?

This is the perfect instance where you will want to start a hand on the front foot. An early raise will ensure you do your best to eliminate any low value cards that could form a stronger combination later in the hand.

For example, if you have unsuited hole cards that are 10 or higher, then it’s worth wading in big.

As the hand reaches the flop, turn, and river you’ll want to bear in mind that your opponents could hit a number of stronger hands so reign the aggression in if there are potential stronger combinations out there.

If it becomes clear that the other players in the hand have very little, then you have some room to maneuver where you can exercise a little bit of bullying. Be careful though!

Three of a Kind Probabilities

We calculated the poker hand odds and probability of getting Three of a Kind while playing Texas Hold'em. These figures are based on having five available cards – your two hole cards and three community cards.

Number of ways to draw the hand (not including different suits) Number of ways to draw the hand (including different suits) Odds of getting Three of a Kind Probability of getting Three of a Kind
858 54,912 1 / 46.33 2.1128%

The odds of being dealt Three of a Kind on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. To view a wider range of odds and probabilities of being dealt different hands then check out our very own poker odds calculator.

Back to Poker Hands

FAQS

What is Three of a Kind in poker?

A Three of a Kind hand in poker refers to a combination of five cards where three of them have the same denomination, also known as rank. The remaining two cards are of different ranks. A hand of 5-5-5-A-J is Three of a Kind.

What beats Three of a Kind?

A Straight beats Three of a Kind and of course, so do the higher-ranking poker hands, such as Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, and Straight Flush.

What can Three of a Kind beat?

Three of a Kind can beat Two Pairs, One Pair, or a High Card. Three of a Kind can also beat another Three of a Kind hand with a lower ranking.

Can you win with Three of a Kind?

Although it is not one of the best winning poker hands, Three of a Kind can definitely get you the pot in some situations. It is important to consider the possibility of the opponents making better hands with the available community cards.

Which Three of a Kind is strongest?

The strongest Three of a Kind, or trips, hand that a player can boast consists of all three cards being Aces. Three Kings is the second strongest Three of a Kind with trips Queens being the third strongest, and so on.