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What is the best Full House?

Posted on May 16, 2012 in Articles

Although it’s not likely to come up in a game situation, here’s a great trivia question about high-ranking poker hands that is sure to stump even your most serious poker-playing friends.

In a classic game of five-card draw poker, what is the best possible full house?

The obvious answer would be “three Aces and two Kings,” but that’s not technically correct. The real answer depends on how you define the word “best.”

It’s true that there is no full house that can beat Aces over Kings. But, there are two other hand-rankings that can beat a full house: Four of a kind and straight flushes (including Royal Flushes).

If your full house consists of Aces over Kings, then there are 11 sets of four-of-a-kind that can beat you and 34 possible straight flushes that can beat you. That’s a total of 45 possible hands that your opponents could have.

However, if you instead chose Aces over Eights (or Sevens or Sixes), then you interrupt the necessary sequences for some of the straight flushes.

This strategy lowers the number of straight flushes you could be facing to only 27. That lowers the total number of possible hands your opponents could beat you with to only 38 hands.

If you could choose a full house, you’re better off taking Aces and Eights than you are choosing Aces and Kings. Strange but true!