Does Four of a Kind Beat a Flush in a Game of Poker?

Does four of a kind beat a flush is a question that lingers at the back of the mind of almost anyone who has seen their first poker movie. If you are one of them, know that many others feel your pain, and you won't be the last to have questions like this one.

But questions have answers, and we claim to have the right set of answers that will set you on the right track of gaining a deeper understanding not only of how hands are ranked but the game of poker in general. You certainly don’t want to play fast and loose with poker hand ranking nor the game rules, regardless of which poker variant you feel enthusiastic about. To get to the crux of the matter, use the quick navigation menu.

There’s no denying that detailed knowledge goes a long way in poker. To help you build yours up, we have included picture examples and video footage of professional poker players in a quads vs flush scenario. The two uncanny terms are the least strange ones from the rich collection of card and poker idioms.

In addition to the words of wisdom of yours truly, we have prepared graphs and a list of statistical poker-related probabilities every player is curious about. Altogether, that should be enough to give you a steer in the right direction. If, at the end of it, you still fail to grasp an important concept – check the FAQ section.

Does a Four of a Kind Beat a Flush? – Hand Strength and Ranking

The good thing about learning the hand ranking in poker is this knowledge will serve you no matter what variation of the gameplay. Not only will you hold the answer to the question ‘does a flush beat four of a kind?’, but you will become way more discerning when playing poker. The strength of the hands stays the same, whether it be Omaha, Texas Hold’em, or the classic 5-Card Draw. Just keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Hi-Lo’ abbreviation as it denotes a twist on the rules that is a topic for another article. For now, let’s take a look at the general rules of poker that concern hand ranking and answers the question does four of a kind beat a flush.

Hand Ranking in Poker

As seen on the graph, four of a kind – also called quads – is technically the third strongest hand after straight flush and a royal flush. The elusive royal flush is just a higher-degree straight flush but is, nonetheless, the highest-ranked hand in poker. Not only does four of a kind beat flush, but also straight and even full house.

Another interesting fact is that quads has a kicker that never comes into play. It doesn’t have any showdown value because it’s impossible for more than one player to have four cards of the same rank in their hand, given that poker is played with only one deck. We correctly point this out in our page about the best online poker sites.

What Is Four of a Kind in Poker?

To make four of a kind, a player needs four cards in their hand that is of the same rank, i.e. four nines, four queens, etc. This almost never happens in real life, one because the hand is usually decided before anyone can draw to quads and two because the chances of making quads are slim, to say the least.

More often than not, we see the little cousin of four of a kind – three of a kind (also called trips or set). However, talking and researching poker is a labour of love for us, so we dug a little deeper and found occasions where players make four of a kind in official poker events.

Four of a Kind in Televised Poker
Tournament/ Cash Game Hands
PartyPoker European Open V Four 3s vs 9-high flush
High Stakes Poker Season 2 Four 5s vs Full House
PartyPoker World Open Four Qs vs Four 9s
MILLIONS SHR Sochi 2020 partypoker Four As vs Ace-high flush
EPT Barcelona 2005 Four Qs vs Full House

What is Flush in Poker?

The only condition to make a flush is to have five cards of the same suit in your hand. Quite simple and, actually, not that impossible. Hollywood is in love with the upgraded version of flush – the straight flush. For this, the cards in your hand have to be not only of the same suit but also of sequential rank, i.e., from 5 to 9.

We brought you some examples of a straight flush, straight from the movies. You will rarely see a poker movie final scene featuring a mere flush, simply because it doesn’t pack a punch as a straight flush does. Here are five times we saw a straight flush in the movies.

Four of a Kind vs Flush – How Often Do You Get Dealt That?

In case you had any doubts about that, the hand ranking is based on the likelihood of a hand being dealt. The rarer the hand, the stronger it is. Bear in mind that four of a kind is not even the strongest hand in poker. There is room for improvement if you think you have a chance of drawing to a straight flush. Different poker variations offer a different way to connect with the community cards.

Most importantly, the way cards are drawn from the deck is different. It’s paramount that you know by what rules you are playing, although, in general, hand strength remains unchanged. We will shed some more light on the probability of being dealt a certain hand. Along with knowing your chances of winning, this is what separates the best poker players from the rest. In case you want to know what your chances are of making quads or a flush, the following is for you.

Five-Card Poker

Does a flush beat four of a kind in five-card poker? Let us lay it out for you. The probability of being dealt four of a kind is 0.0241% in 5-card poker. 0.1441% is the probability of starting the hand with a full house in 5-card poker. You can see what drives the value of quads way up and, respectfully, makes it the better hand than flush. It is still one of the most desirable hands in a game of, let’s say, pot-limit Omaha. Remember that you must use exactly two of the cards you are dealt and three of the community cards.

Seven-Card Poker

In seven-card poker, players hit four of a kind 0.168% of the time and flush – 3.03% of the time, so hand order stays the same. They are just more likely to come into play. In a game such as Seven Card Stud, you can only use five of the seven hole cards you hold. Keep that in mind when you select which cards you will use to make your hand. Poker requires both skill and luck to be on your side.

Texas Hold’em

In Texas Hold’em, you can’t be dealt a five-card hand because you start with two hole cards before the flop. Then community cards show up on the table, and you can make a five-card hand. The best starting hand when you want to make quads is a pocket pair. The odds of that are 16 to 1, or 0.0588% if we take a few more things into consideration. To make a flush, the best starting hand would be two cards of the same suit. The chance of that coming to pass is 24%. We hope that makes it clear why four of a kind beats flush in Texas Hold’em poker.

Does Four of a Kind Beat Flush in Texas Hold’em? – The Odds

The probability of hitting quads on the flop in Texas Hold’em is very tiny. What improves your odds is if you have a pocket pair. Even if you don’t make four of a kind on the flop, at least you should flop a set or better 11.76% of the time. Here are more useful probabilities and stats for nerds.

  • Flop flush with two suited cards – 0.84%
  • Flop quads with a pocket pair – 0.245%
  • Make a flush with two cards to come and nine outs – 0.349%
  • Make four of a kind by the river with a non-pair – 0.01%
  • The flop will be three of a kind – 0.24%
  • The flop will be three suited cards – 5.18%

To flop a flush, you also need a lot of luck because the chances of that are in the neighbourhood of just below one per cent. On top of that, you must hold suited cards. With two suited cards you can flop a flush draw 10.9% of the time. Draw to a flush seeing all five cards, and holding unsuited cards happens only 1.26% of the time.

You may be wondering what the odds are of the two strongest hands in poker colliding. Well, of course, that happens once in a blue moon. Some number-crunching genius calculated the odds to be 1 in 2.7 billion. If we were to turn this into a decimal number, it would be too long to write in one row because of the many zeros after the decimal point. The number is so close to zero that it’s not even worth entertaining the thought of writing it down. Instead, we’ll do you one better and tell you the story that brought this number to light in the next paragraph.

Does a Four of a Kind Beat a Flush – Examples from Professionals

Flush vs Four of a Kind happens seldom, but it always goes wrong for the person holding the flush. There’s no insurance against this sort of bad beat, but what you have control over is what bonuses you claim. It’s always good to keep an eye on the best online poker bonuses in case you need a hand to build your bankroll back up. In the next two paragraphs, we illustrated how detrimental having the nut flush could be if someone happens to have made quads. Those are two great examples of why you should never get ahead of yourself in poker.

Four of a Kind vs Nut Flush (MILLIONS SHR)

One of the players in this historic hand is none other than Phil Ivey – former ambassador of Full Tilt Poker (not to be mistaken with the online casino of Full Tilt). Across the table sits Sam Greenwood – a foreign name to the poker world. The hand goes down fast and destructive for Sam Greenwood, with Phil Ivey catching the fourth ace on the turn. On the river, both players go all-in after a bet and a re-raise. Here is exactly how that hand developed.

What do you think, does four of a kind beat a flush in Texas Hold’em? You can count on that. But what made Sam Greenwood stay until the bitter end? He had the nut flush, meaning an ace-high flush. Unfortunately for him, a flush is still a flush and is ranked lower than four of a kind. So this could go only one way – with the flush burning down in flames.

Four of a Kind vs Royal Flush (WSOP Main Event)

Motoyuki Mabuchi and Justin Philips crossed swords in an unordinary hand number 500 that went in history as one of the bad beats of the century. The tournament is WSOP 2008 Main Event; Ray Romano had just sat down at the table before the unusual hand took place. Long story short, Mabuchi had the two black aces, flopped one, and the river revealed the case ace!

Mabuchi had quads on the river and confidently re-raised Justin Philips’ bet. Justin Philips could barely wait to push all his chips in the middle and slam his royal flush on the table. Here’s the rare footage of the hand that played out in 2008.

Everyone at the table was still in disbelief as to what’s unfolding before their eyes when the grim reality for Mabuchi slowly sunk in, and he shook hands with Philips. What a cooler of a hand. Remember that the buy-in to that event is $10,000. To add more to the drama, commentator Lon McEachern pointed out that the probability of a royal flush vs quads scenario like this one to happen is only 1 in 2.7 billion. This is something that even the best poker guides can’t teach you how to escape from.

FAQ

Poker is a complicated game and building the foundation needed to understand it starts with understanding what hand beats what hand. Otherwise, you are never going to be a successful player. If you still can’t answer the question ‘does flush beat four of a kind?’ you better give a read to the question-and-answer segment below.

🃏 Does four of a kind beat a flush?

In any game of poker, four of a kind – also called quads – beats a flush. Hand ranking in poker is very clear on that. Don't get overexcited, though, because the hand comes up hardly ever. The odds on that are pretty clear too.

🤔 Does four of a kind beat a straight flush?

Straight flush is the strongest hand in poker, no matter what the suit. It is stronger than quads and is more difficult to make. Straight flush can be beaten only by a higher straight flush. Royal flush is the highest straight flush. It ends in an ace on the higher end.

♣ Does the nut flush beat four of a kind?

By the rules of poker four of a kind beats ace-high flush. The two hands don't coincide all that often, but when they do, you can always expect fireworks. An ace-high flush may feel like a strong hand, but it still a flush, which is lower than four of a kind.

🍀 What beats a four of a kind in poker?

As specified by the hand ranking in poker the only thing higher than four of a kind is straight flush. Therefore, this is the only hand that beats four of a kind. And then, there's the case where four of a kind is beaten by a higher four of a kind.

⭐ Is 5 of a kind higher than royal flush?

In a game with wild cards such as the joker, five of a kind is the strongest hand a player can make. It beats a royal flush and is stronger than four of a kind, but it's super hard to make. You need to have five cards of the same rank plus a joker.

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