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Four of a Kind Odds

Four-of-a-kind

It’s almost impossible to lose money with four of a kind. While most new players to Hold’em expect to sometimes get beaten by straight flushes, the odds of that occurring are so slim that casinos will award bad-beat jackpots to the players who manage to do it.

Casinos generally don’t like giving out free money so that gives you an idea of how unlucky it is to lose with four of a kind, or quads, as poker players like to call it. We’ll give you some basic odds for quads below along with some rudimentary strategy for playing the hand.

Four of a Kind Basics

Four of a kind, or quads, as it’s usually known in poker, is essentially an unbeatable hand in No-Limit Hold’em.

There are technically ways you can lose with it but it’s almost unheard of and you’d have to get astronomically unlucky.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. The odds of hitting quads on the flop are a minuscule 0.2 percent or 407 to 1. By the river, it goes up slightly to 2.1 percent but the odds are still very much against you.

When you do hit four of a kind, you’re generally going to be the winner. If you’re lucky, you’ll be up against another monster hand like a flush, full house or straight, which you have crushed.

Unlike sets where you occasionally will lose set over set, going quads over quads is nigh inconceivable.

In general, quads are a serious long shot. Here’s a look at some of the stats related to four of a kind:

  • 2%: Percent chance to hit quads by the river with a pocket pair (1 in 122)
  • 0.2%: Percent chance to hit quads on the flop with a pocket pair (1 in 407)
  • 0.001%: Percent chance to flop quads without a pocket pair (1 in 1000)
  • 0.0001%: Percent chance that quads get beaten (1 in 100,000)

Tips for Playing Quads

Let’s start by saying that if you’re a new player, you should never even think about folding quads.

There are so few situations where that’s the correct play that you can just take it out of your range completely when learning how to play Hold’em. If somehow you get beat by better quads or a straight flush, then that’s a story for your grandchildren.

The reality is that 99.9 percent of the time when you have quads, you have the best hand and you should be thinking about maximizing your profit.

Quads are actually one of the rare hands where you can contemplate slowing down and letting your opponent at least catch up somewhat. In fact, the problem with quads is that you’re almost too strong most of the time and it can be difficult to disguise your hand.

Of course whenever you have quads, there’s a pair on the board so that means that your opponent could easily hit two pair or a full house so you should do everything you can to help them get there.

That’s not to say you should never mix things up. If you’ve been bluffing a lot, then you can probably take a few stabs early but you’re definitely going to feel sad if your opponent immediately lays it down.

Ideally you’ll be up against an opponent who likes to bluff a lot and you can call a couple streets before bombing the river.

One Secret Trick for Playing Quads

The best tip for playing quads is to not worry about it too much.

Hitting quads is going to be an unusual spot and actually getting money from the hand is even rarer.

New players get so excited when they hit quads that they often don’t know what to do with themselves. More often than not, the correct strategy is to remain calm and let your opponent catch up slightly and then hopefully win a huge pot.

Quite often, quads hands kind of play themselves and you’re going to win a small pot or a huge one without thinking too much.

Just try to avoid getting too nervous and shoving a 50 big blind stack in the middle on the flop.

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