Kickers

     Kickers are the leftover cards after a hand is declared. They determine who wins if players have the same hand. Since not all hands have "leftovers", kickers only apply to four-of-a-kind, three-of-a-kind, two pair, one pair, and high card situations. For situations with straights, flushes, straight flushes, two pair, and full houses, check out the links at the bottom of this page.
     In texas hold 'em you always use the best combination of five cards. Since a certain amount of cards are "used up" when you declare a hand, there can only be a certain number of kickers. Here's the short list...


Four-of-a-Kind has one kicker. In this example, the 5 of clubs is the kicker.

Nine of Diamonds Nine of Spades Five of Clubs Nine of Clubs Nine of Hearts

Three-of-a-Kind has two kickers. In the example below, the Jack of Hearts and Nine of Spades are those two kickers.

Six of Diamonds Nine of Spades Six of Clubs Six of Hearts Jack of Hearts

Two Pair has one kicker. Below, the Ace of diamonds is that kicker.

Ace of Diamonds Jack of Spades Two of Clubs Jack of Hearts Two of Hearts

A Pair has three kickers. In the example below, the King of Hearts, the Nine of Clubs, and the Two of Hearts are those three kickers.

Two of Hearts Four of Spades Four of Clubs Nine of Clubs King of Hearts

Here are some examples to further explain kickers.
               Player One                                                 Player Two
         Ace of Diamonds King of Spades                                         Ace of Clubs Queen of Hearts

With a board of:
Ace of Hearts Ten of Hearts Ace of Spades Five of Diamonds Six of Clubs

Three Aces with a King kicker beats Three Aces with a Queen kicker, so Player One wins.

               Player One                                                 Player Two
         King of Diamonds Jack of Spades                                         Jack of Clubs Two of Hearts

With a board of:
Nine of Hearts Queen of Hearts Jack of Spades Five of Diamonds Five of Clubs

Two Pair, Jacks and Fives with a King kicker beats Two Pair, Jacks and Fives with a Queen kicker, so Player One wins.

Same goes for high card hands...
               Player One                                                 Player Two
         Aces of Diamonds Five of Spades                                         Ace of Clubs Two of Hearts

With a board of:
King of Hearts Queen of Hearts Ten of Spades Four of Diamonds Three of Clubs

Ace High (with a hand of AKQT5) beats Ace High (with a hand of AKQT4), so Player One wins.

               Player One                                                 Player Two
         Ace of Diamonds Five of Spades                                         Ace of Clubs Two of Hearts

With a board of:
King of Hearts Queen of Hearts Ten of Spades Six of Diamonds Three of Clubs

Players 1 and 2 split the pot, both having a hand of AKQT6.

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