Making three-of-a-kind often gives you a hand that’s strong enough to win the pot in a game of poker. You’ve made three-of-a-kind when you hold three of the same ranking card, along with two other unpaired cards, in a five-card hand.
Three-of-a-kind ranks as the seventh-best possible hand in the standard poker hand rankings. This hand only loses to other very strong hands, like straights, flushes, full houses, four-of-a-kind, straight flushes, and royal flushes.
An example of three-of-a-kind looks like this:
Other examples of three-of-a-kind include hands like A♠A♣A♥9♦4♥ and 7♦7♠7♥3♦2♣. Note that a three-of-a-kind hand that includes a pair as the other two cards, like A♠A♣A♥9♦9♥, qualifies as a full house, which outranks three-of-a-kind in the hand rankings.
If two or more three-of-a-kind hands face each other at showdown, the higher-ranking three-of-a-kind wins. For example, the A♠A♣A♥9♦4♥ hand (three-of-a-kind aces) would win against 7♦7♠7♥3♦2♣ (three-of-a-kind sevens).
How Does Three Of A Kind Rank?
Three-of-a-kind stands as the seventh-best hand on the poker hand rankings list. Three-of-a-kind beats all two pair, pair, and high card hands.
If you randomly draw five cards from a regulation 52-card poker deck, you have a 2.1128% chance of making three-of-a-kind. This can also be expressed as 46.33-to-1 odds against.
The deck yields 858 distinct ways to make three-of-a-kind out of a five-card poker hand. Factoring in the combinations of suits gives us 54,912 total ways to draw three-of-a-kind from a 52-card deck.
In Texas Hold’em, you try to make the best possible five-card hand out of seven cards. This changes the probabilities behind making three-of-a-kind.
With all five community cards on the board in Texas Hold’em, you have a 4.83% chance of making three-of-a-kind (19.7-to-1 odds against).