Kicker Card in Poker


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In Texas Holdem, the player with the best 5-card hand wins the pot. At the showdown, although it is fairly easy to determine a winning hand by looking at the ranks of the hands, sometimes, we need to do more than that to determine a high-ranking hand.

This is where the kicker in texas holdem comes in, and we use the kicker rules of poker. In this article, we discuss exactly what a kicker poker texas holdem is and how to implement the kicker rules of poker. But first, let’s brush up on the basics of Texas Holdem poker.

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What is Texas Holdem Poker?

Texas Holdem is the most popular variant of poker in the world. Being played in different tournaments worldwide, texas holdem has made quite a name for itself in poker. Down below are the basic playing instructions for a game of texas holdem poker –

1. Usually played between 2 to 10 players, this poker game is played with a standard 52-card deck.

2. Each player gets 2 hole cards which are dealt face down by the dealer so that no other player can see the cards except the receiving player.

3. Then, 5 community cards are dealt face up on the board in an orderly fashion – the first three cards are dealt, then another and then the 5th and last card is placed on the board.

4. The first three community cards dealt at once are known as the ‘the flop’, the next single community card dealt is known as the ‘turn’, and the last is known as ‘the river’.

5. The betting occurs before and after each community card is dealt.

6. The game aims to create the best 5-card poker hand with the hole and community cards.

Thus, the player with the highest ranking 5-card poker hand wins the pot. These poker hands are determined by using the official poker hand rankings.

Now, sometimes the showdown players have the same hand rankings. How to determine the winner then, you ask?

Since the players are in a tie, we need a tiebreaker. This is essentially the job of a kicker in Texas Holdem.

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What Exactly Is A Kicker Card Poker?

As stated above, in simple terms, a kicker card breaks a tie between players with the same hand rank. The kicker in texas holds helps determine the winner, breaking the tie using the kicker rules of poker.

Let’s understand this by using an example –

Player 1’s cards – A-9

Player 2’s cards – A-8

Board cards – A-K-7-6-5

Player 1’s best cards – A-A-K-9-7

Player 2’s best cards – A-A-K-8-7

Here, we have used kicker card poker texas holdem rules to determine the final winner.

Player 1 outkicks Player 2 and wins the pot. The 4th card from their best cards is the kicker, and Player 1’s kicker card is higher than Player 2’s.

In the poker kicker rules, there is also a possibility that the kicker cannot determine the winning player among the tied players. Then, the pot will be split equally between the tied players.

Let’s see this with an example –

Player 1’s cards – A-9

Player 2’s cards – A-8

Board cards – A-K-Q-J-4

Player 1’s best cards – A-A-K-Q-J

Player 2’s best cards – A-A-K-Q-J

Here the board has A-K-Q-J-4, by which both players will have the same cards. Then, in this case, we say that the kickers ‘don’t play’, and both the players will win the game, and the pot will be split equally between them. In this example, we didn’t use the kicker in texas holdem.

Now that you know how a texas holdem kicker works, it’s time to know about the poker kicker rules and the cases in which a kicker in texas holdem applies.

kicker card poker

when do you split the pot in poker? In poker, the pot is split when two or more players have equally strong hands at the showdown, resulting in a tie. This typically occurs in games like Texas Hold'em when players have the same ranking hand, and they evenly share the chips in the pot.

In What Cases Is A Kicker Texas Holdem Applicable

The kicker in Texas Holdem cannot be applied to all the hand rankings. There are specific rank hands in which the kicker rules of poker apply, which you will find below –

1. High card –

Being the lowest hand card, a high card has no pair or has any hand type. And because of this, all cards of high ranks can be used as a kicker poker texas holdem. Using your hole cards, you can take the highest 5 cards out of the total 7 and make the best possible 5-card hand.

2. One pair –

When your second hole card is higher than your opponent's hole card, a kicker in poker is used according to the kicker rules.

For example –

Your hand: A-K

Opponents’ hand: A-Q

The board: A-10-8-5-3

Your best 5 cards: A-A-K-10-8

Opponents’ best 5 cards: A-A-Q-10-8

In this scenario, you have outkicked your opponent and won the pot.

3. Two pairs –

When you can’t make a two-pair with both of your hole cards, a single-card kicker comes into play.

According to the kicker poker rules, in two pairs, the winner is determined by –

· Making out the best high-ranked pair among the players

· If the first pair is the same for both, the second pair are compared.

· If the players have the same two pairs using both hole cards, the pot will be split equally.

4. Three-of-a-kind –

In three of a kind, the kicker is determined in the same way in one pair; when your second hole card is higher than your opponent’s hole card, a kicker card in poker is used according to the kicker rules of poker.

5. Four-of-a-kind –

In this type of hand rank, according to kicker rules of poker, a kicker comes out to play only if four of a kind are on the community board.

The above were the instances of kicker texas holdem in which a kicker in texas holdem comes into play to determine the winner.

kicker poker

Different positions in poker, such as the button, small blind, big blind, and early, middle, and late positions, offer strategiwhen do you split the pot in poker advantages and considerations based on when players act during betting rounds.

In what cases is a kicker texas holdem not applicable?

Now, let's look at the instances in which the kicker poker texas holdem cannot come into play –

· Straight

· Flush

· Full house

· Straight flush

· Royal flush

We have come to the end of our discussion of a kicker in texas holdem. Now that you know all about the texas holdem kicker rules and applicability of a kicker poker texas holdem, download the GetMega app now and enjoy a game of texas holdem with your friends!


What does a kicker decide the winner means?

  • A kicker decides the winner when players have the same ranked hand, like a pair or two pairs, and the deciding factor is the highest unpaired card accompanying the hand.

Does a high card have a kicker?

  • Yes, high card hands have kickers. If players have the same high card, the kicker determines the winner.

What is the kicker in 2 pairs poker?

  • In two pairs poker, the kicker is the fifth card that doesn't contribute to the two pairs. It's used to break ties between players with the same two pairs.

Who is the kicker in 4 of a kind?

  • In four of a kind, the kicker doesn't typically matter as two players can't have the same four of a kind. However, in the rare case of multiple players having four of a kind, the kicker would determine the winner.

What is a kicker card?

  • A kicker card is an additional card used to break ties when players have the same ranked hand in poker, ensuring a clear winner.
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