Consider the following Texas Holdem example: Both players have the same two pair hand of aces over nines. From a first glance, it would look like Villain has the higher kicker. However, this hand is actually a tie. The reason for this is easy to see if you look at the best five card poker hand that each player has. The 'kicker' is just a fancy way of saying that all the cards in a 5 card hand play, and somewhere in that sequence one of our cards which isn't part of the main rank is higher than another hand of the same rank. The only tricky part of a tie breaker with four of a kind is when the four falls on the table in a game of Texas Holdem and is therefore shared between two (or more) players. A kicker can be used, however, if the fifth community card is higher than any card held by any player still in the hand, then the hand is considered a tie and the pot is. A “kicker” in poker is a side card that can break ties. It is the 2nd characteristic to look at when determining rankings during a poker hand. (The first would be to determine the initial rank of a hand.).
Because of the presence of community cards in Texas hold 'em, different players' hands can often run very close in value. As a result, it is not uncommon for kickers to be used to determine the winning hand and also for two hands to tie. A kicker is a card which is part of the five card poker hand, but is not used in determining a hand's rank. For instance, in the hand A-A-A-K-Q, the king and queen are kickers.
Someone once told me that in the World Series of Poker (Texas Holdem) and most serious Texas Holdem Games in general that a Kicker has to be 8 or higher. I was wondering if this was true or not. So for example, if this is true then for example, if someone has. And the other person had.
The following situation illustrates the importance of breaking ties with kickers and card ranks, as well as the use of the five-card rule. After the turn, the board and players' hole cards are as follows.
At the moment, Bob is in the lead with a hand of Q♠ Q♣ 8♠ 8♥ K♥, making two pair, queens and eights, with a king kicker. This beats Carol's hand of Q♥ Q♣ 8♠ 8♥ 10♦ by virtue of his king kicker.
Suppose the final card was the A♠, making the final board 8♠ Q♣ 8♥ 4♣ A♠. Bob and Carol still each have two pair (Queens and eights), but both of them are now entitled to play the final ace as their fifth card, making their hands both two pair, queens and eights, with an ace kicker. Bob's king no longer plays, because the ace on the board plays as the fifth card in both hands, and a hand is only composed of five cards. They therefore tie and split the pot.
Texas Hold'em Poker
Your kicker is the second card you are playing in a game of Texas Hold’em. To some, understanding the hand strengths is enough to get by in poker. To the rest of us, we know there is a little more to it. Unfortunately, in Texas Hold’em, you are not going to make royal flushes and 4 of a kind very often. You are more likely to end most hands with one pair or high card, this is where your kicker plays.
You may have heard the phrase “kicker problems” before. This is when you’ve made a top pair type hand, read your opponent for similar hand but identified a problem – your kicker is low. Understanding when your kicker is no good and getting out of the way is an important skill to develop to help curb your potential losses in poker. To win at poker, you will have to learn to minimise your losses and sorting out kicker problems is one way. One of the biggest problems’ beginners have is overplaying ace rag, not realising the rag is the kicker costing them money.
Example Poker Kicker Hand
You’re in a $1/$2 cash game and a conservative old gentlemen limps in from early position (nice game eh?), 2 others limp in late position, and you complete from the SB with Ac 3c.
Texas Holdem Poker Casino
The flop comes:
As 9d 6d.
You check, BB checks and the conservative old gent bets out $9 into $10. The button calls and action is on you: What do you do?
This is a spot where you are probably up against another ace in the hand. An observant player will recognise the early position limper almost certainly has an A 10 + type hand and is way ahead. Rather than calling with your top pair and potentially losing $10 +, folding would be a wise move here.
When does a Kicker Count in Poker?
Texas Hold’em is played on best 5 card hand. Remember, the community cards are yours and your opponents. If the secondary card in yours and your opponent’s hole cards exceed that of the board, then the kicker will count. So if you have K-2 and your opponent has K-8 on a board run out of K-3-5-J-J than the 8 plays because the best hand is:
K-K-J-J-8 > K-K-J-J-5
Kings and Jacks with an 8 kicker beats Kings and Jacks with a 5 kicker.
The kicker’s can only count in the following hands:
Texas Holdem Poker Kicker Online
- High Card
- One Pair
- Two Pair
Texas Holdem Poker Kickers
Understanding your poker kicker and when it counts is very important to being a solid player. You need to combine hand reading, hand selection and table awareness to judge whether a kicker will be your friend or foe. If you’re ever unsure, stick to playing solid starting hands and you stand a better chance.