Full House

What makes a full house in poker?

A Full House is any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value. An example of a full house is {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}{a-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}, but {2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{3-Spades}{3-Clubs} is a full house as well.

For you to be able to have a full house in no-limit texas hold'em poker, there always needs to be at least one pair on the board. Since you only have 2 cards in your hand, and you need to make three-of-a-kind ánd a pair, there needs to be at least two of the same value cards on the table.

An Example of Full house:

The following five community cards are on the table: {4-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} {j-Spades} {4-Clubs}

Phil Ivey has {4-Spades}{j-Hearts} in his hand, he now plays a full house. With the 2 cards his hand, and the 5 on the board, Ivey has 7 cards total to make the best combination of 5 cards. Ivey doesn't use the eight and the nine, and makes {4-Spades}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{j-Spades}; a full house.

Daniel Negreanu has {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs} in his hand, also have a full house. Negreanu doesn't use 2 of the cards and makes the best combination of five cards. In this case, Negreanu uses {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs} to make his full house.

The best full house is the one with the highest three-of-a-kind. If you and your opponent(s) have the same three-of-a-kind, you'll look at who has the higher pair to go along with it. The one with the higher pair, than wins the hand. If you have the same three-of-a-kind and pair, you split the pot.

In this example, Negreanu with {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs} wins from Ivey with {4-Spades}{j-Hearts}. {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs} is higher than the {4-Spades}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{j-Spades} of Ivey, and Negreanu wins the pot.

If you have the {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs} full house, you can call it "eights full of fours". In this expression, you always use the three-of-a-kind first, followed by the pair. Ivey, in this example, had "fours full of jacks".


"Man, I had a full house right in the first hand of the day! Nobody could beat my aces full of eights, and I scooped a monster!"