In Poker, each hand is assigned a rank that is compared against the ranks of other hands to determine the winner in a showdown. There exists ten such poker hands that are assigned different ranks in the hand rankings chart. Since the objective for all players in a poker game is to achieve the best poker hand to win the pot in a showdown, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the position of all poker hands.

Amongst the ten hand rankings, we shall discuss two poker hands today that sit higher on the ranking chart and know which hand beats the other. These two poker hands are- Full House and Four of a Kind.

One of the questions that beginners often ask about hand rankings is, “Does Four of a Kind Beat a Full House in Poker?”

The answer is Yes. A Four of a Kind indeed beats a Full house in Poker. To confirm this statement, let’s discuss both hands in depth.

What is Four of a Kind?

A four of a kind, also known as Quads, sits in the 3rd position in the hand rankings chart and is one of the strongest hands in poker. This hand is made of four cards of the same rank and one card of a different rank. An example of this hand would be A,A,A,A,10. Clearly, this is a very strong hand in poker. 

Now, if two or more players have four of a kind, the winner is decided based on the value of the highest ranking card in their hands. So, if another player has four of a kind that looks like Q,Q,Q,Q,7; the former hand will beat this one since Ace ranks higher than Queen. The same rule applies for all such hands in a poker game. 

What is a Full House in Poker?

Ranking amongst the top five poker hands, a Full House enjoys 4th position in the poker hand hierarchy chart. It consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. Therefore, an example of a Full House would be K,K,K,9,9.

Now, if another player has a Full House that looks like 10,10,10,7,7, the former hand will beat this one since King ranks higher than 10s. This means whenever two or more players have the same poker hand, the winner will be determined according to the highest ranking card of both poker hands.

Moving forward, let’s identify the position of these poker hands in the hand rankings chart. To begin with, let’s check out the top five poker hands according to their position.

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House 
  5. Flush

Clearly, the question, “Does Four of a Kind beat a Full House” has been answered here.  Four of a Kind ranks higher than a Full House as per their position in the hand ranking chart. By this logic, even the highest Full House will be beaten by the lowest Four of a Kind.

You may still ask on what basis are these ranks assigned in the hand ranking chart? 

The fact is, every poker hand is assigned a particular rank in the chart to determine their strength. The basis of assigning various ranks depends on the frequency of their occurrence and the odds of making them. So, if we check the probability of making these two hands in a poker game, here’s what we find.

Hand Distinct Hands Frequency Probability
Four of a Kind 156 624 0.02401
Full House 156 3744 0.1441


Looking at the table above, we can safely deduce that while the number of distinct hands is exactly the same for both Full House and Four of a Kind, the probability of hitting a Four of a Kind are significantly less compared to a Full House.

This means that Quads are relatively rare hands if compared to a Full House. Therefore, they rank higher than a Full House in the poker hierarchy chart. In fact, the only two hands that beat Four of a Kind are Straight Flush and Royal Flush.

Final Words

All things said, when these two hands are pitted against one another, Four of a Kind outshines Full House. However, both are extremely strong hands that are difficult to beat. The odds of making both these hands in poker are so low that if you do get them, it’s a strong indication that you may win the hand.  

We hope this discussion answered the question for you. See you at the felts.