What is a poker kicker – when and why is it needed

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The topic of our today’s article is a kicker, we will find out what this term means, we will find out the meaning of this card in the game. Let’s figure out when it has its weight and what kind of influence it has on controversial situations in the game. So, for starters, Kicker or Kicker in English is a card that is not included in any combination, but not completely superfluous. In situations where two players have equivalent sets of cards, the advantage is determined precisely by the kicker – or rather by the seniority of the kicker – one or the second, depending on the circumstances. A kicker is not possible in all combinations, we recall that a combination in poker is a set of five cards, and if it is full-fledged – for example, a straight, flush, or royal flush, full house and straight flush, then there is no question of any kicker. But in Pair and Two Pair, in Set (Three) and Four of a Kind, in case of a disputable situation, they turn to the help of a card that is not participating in the listed sets.

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The largest number of possible kickers, of course, in Pair – three free cards, so to speak – these are the player’s three kickers. In Two Pair – we have one kicker (fifth card), in Set or Three – there are two of them, respectively (fourth and fifth cards). In Four of a Kind, as in Two Pairs, there is only one kicker. Why a kicker is needed and how it is used The essence and purpose of a kicker in poker is to determine the winner in controversial moments. For example, if two players have two identical inferior combinations – two identical Pairs. It is the highest card-kicker who will decide which of them will win and take the pot for himself. Imagine that player “number one” has a pair of queens of spades and diamonds, and player “number two” has a pair of queens of clubs and a heart. The suits in poker do not matter, so you need to determine the strongest with an additional card – and here, the one whose card is not included in the combination is stronger than he won – that is, the player “number one” has a queen + queen + five + seven + jack wins player “number two” with cards queen + queen + six + three + ten, kickers in this situation are jack and ten. What you need to know and consider in a situation using a kicker. Firstly, such a phenomenon as a kicker may not be in all controversial moments with two equivalent combinations. The kicker only matters in sets with four or fewer cards. In disputable situations with full-fledged five-card combinations, the pot is simply distributed equally between the two players. The number of kickers from one player can reach three pieces, as in the situation with disputable Pairs and in rare, but still taking place, cases, two of the free three cards can also be identical in face value and then everything is determined by the third kicker, or rather its seniority . Disputable situation of combinations with one kicker An example of a disputable situation between two players, where equivalent combinations have one kicker each:
Player “number one” has the next cards in his hand – spades (or off-suit) five and ten. Player “number two” has pocket cards in the form of offsuit (or suited) triples and queens. There are the following five cards on the table – four off-suit eights and one four (of any suit). That is, there is a common combination of four eights on the board – Four of a Kind of Eights. It turns out that both participants have already collected four of a kind – it means they are in an equal position. And here the same kicker matters, which for the player “number one” is a ten, and for the player “number two” – a queen. A simple logical conclusion is that the queen is over ten, so the second player has the kicker advantage and wins in this case. The disputable situation of combinations with two kickers Now let’s look at the example of a disputable situation in which players have two kickers each and find out how the winner is chosen:
Player “number one” has the next two cards he received preflop – offsuit (or suited) jack and king. Player “number two” has an offsuit (or suited) queen and king in his hands. Both do not have any combination of hole cards. On the table are the following five common, so to speak, cards – these are two sixes, a deuce, a five and a ten. And again, the available combination is on the board – here we get a Pair of Sixes – this Pair belongs to both the first and second players. We choose a kicker to determine the superiority – the strongest free card in both hands is the king, that is, again – equally, now they are looking at the second card that is not participating in the combination. Player “number one” has a second kicker which is a jack, and player “number two” has a second kicker which is a queen. The winner is determined by the superiority of the lady over the jack. Well, in principle, that’s all – we tried to explain in simple words and examples what a kicker is, why it is needed and how it is used. Now we know that a kicker is a card that does not participate in combinations of less than five cards and determines the advantage of one or another player in disputable situations when two participants have equivalent combinations. There can be several kickers – it depends on the number of cards in the combination. Starting from the starting hands and with each new round of betting in poker, the situation in the game does not just change – it can present the player with both pleasant and not very pleasant surprises. With the addition of each new card to the table, someone gets an increase in their hand to the coveted combination, and someone gets disappointed and folds their cards. But there will always be someone at the poker table who is lucky in the cards and whose bet will play, bringing the winner the entire pot.

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