What Is Three of a Kind In Poker – Odds, Probabilities, and Rankings

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Last Updated: January 6, 2024

What Is Three of a Kind Poker Hand

As the name suggests, Three of a Kind means a poker hand that contains 3 cards of the same rank.

While this hand can further be divided into Trips and Sets, this does not change the hand's value, which ranks 7th in the poker hands rankings list of Texas Holdem.

Here are a couple of examples of possible 3 of a Kind poker hands:

  • K K K J 3
  • Q Q Q 7 2
  • 8 8 8 A 5
  • 2 2 2 9 6

The card ranks of those three cards determine the value of your Three of a Kind poker hand. For example, J J J 5 4 is stronger than T T T A K.

However, if both players have the same denomination of 3 of a Kind, then you have to look at the kicker, and the one who has the highest card takes down the pot. For example, J J J A 6 is better than J J J K Q.

Three of a Kind ranks in the 7th place of official poker hands rankings, so it could not be considered a premium holding. That being said, it is still quite a strong hand that is not easy to get, and it can even be the best possible hand on boards where there are no Flush or Straight possibilities.

Three of a Kind Odds and Probabilities

Three of a kind is a more common poker hand than its stronger rivals, so you will have better odds of hitting this hand.

  • The odds of hitting a Three of a Kind is 2.1128% with any random poker hand.
  • The odds of flopping a 3 of a Kind is 10.8% when you have a pocket pair as a starting hand, but only 1.35% if you have unpaired holdings.
  • You have a 4.2% chance to improve One Pair hand to Three of a Kind from the flop to the turn.
  • The probability of improving your One Pair hand to 3 of a Kind from flop till river is 8.4%

You have the best odds to hit Three of a Kind when you hold a pocket pair as your starting hand, which makes those hands quite valuable to begin with.

What is the difference between Trips and Sets?

While both Trips and Sets have the same value, and both I ranked as Three of a Kind, they differ by the way they are made.

Trips – is a hand that you make with one of your hole cards and a pair on the board. For example, when you have AK, and the flop comes K K 5, you have trip Kings.

Set – is a poker hand where you hit 3 of a Kind when holding a pocket pair in your starting hand. For example, if you have 66 and the board comes K 9 6, you have a set of sixes.

What beats 3 of a Kind In poker?

Since Three of a Kind only ranks 7th in the hand's strength list, many poker hands actually beat it. All premium hands such as Royal Flush, Straight Flush, 4 of a Kind, Full House, Flush, and Straight beats Three of a Kind.

What can a Three of a Kind beat?

3 of a Kind can beat lower-ranking hands such as Two Pairs, One pair, and a High Card. Of course, it can also beat the lower Three of a Kind combinations.

Does Three of a Kind beats a Straight?

No, 3 of a Kind does not beat a Straight since a Straight is one rank higher in the official poker hands ranking.

Does 3 of a Kind beat 2 pair?

Yes, Three of a Kind does beat Two Pairs hands in Texas Holdem.

Which 3 of a Kind is the strongest hand?

The best possible Three of a Kind poker hand is A A A K Q, and it beats all other sets and trips, which are also 3 of a Kind hands. It is followed by trip Kings, which is the second strongest Three of a Kind hand, then trip Queens, and so on down the list.

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