The Game Stud

Poker Play

Positive Attitude

Poker Intimidated

Check Other Games

Betting Styles

Poker Bluff


Third Street

Poker Big Pairs

Middle Pairs

Low Pairs

Flush Draws

Straight Draws

Best of the Rest


Fourth Street

Force Out Hands

Poker Two Pair

Poker Big Pairs

Middle Small Pairs

Four Flushes

Ended Straight


Fifth Street

Playing Full House

Flushes Straights

Poker Trips

Poker Two Pair

Drawing Hands


Learning to play poker

Playing a Full House

Few things are more exciting than catching Poker Two Pair and then having the poker gods bless you with the magical card that completes your hand to a full house.  A boat is a huge hand in any poker game, and the vast majority of the time it will win you a decent-sized pot.  Nonetheless, just because it is a great hand does not mean that it should be played the same way every single time.  There are two typical ways to play a full house- either you can bang away with it, or you can slow-play it.  Let’s look at both.

Banging Away

In most cases, you will bang away whenever you have a boat.  I mentioned the most common exception to this rule in the previous section – slow –playing a big full house can be a great idea.  The keyword to that rule is big.  What do I mean by a “big ” full house?  I mean that you want your full house to be bigger than any potential full house you see on the board.  Never, ever, slow-play your boat if you see a pair that could become a bigger boat than yours.

For example, let’s say you have jacks full of 9s – a huge hand.  But, on the board, you see an open pair of queens.  That player has bet, and now the betting is to you.  Your first instinct should not be to call in this situation – doing so can cost you money.  Unless both of the other queens are dead, raise.  You want to try to force this opponent out so he won’t fill up and beat you with a bigger full house.

The odds are still with you to win the hand, but if there is ever a higher pair than your full house, bank away to make its holder pay.  Raising is also the right thing to do if an opponent has a few big cards in front of him.  If an opponent had A K J on the board against your jacks full, granted, he doesn’t have an open pair, but with three big cards like that, two could represent a pair that, with improvement, could fill up to a bigger boat than yours. In such an instance, you should raise.


Calling on fifth street with a full house is fine if your boat is big and the only pairs you see on the board are smaller that what you have in your hand.  In fact, calling is the best move.  Get your opponents to stay in – your hope is that they will fill up to smaller full houses than yours, which will result in a lot of action in later betting rounds.  That will pay you off nicely.  Also call when you see a lot of probably flush and straight draws on the board.  Even if they make their hands, you already have them beat.  Don’t worry about trying to force them out now.  Rather, let them pay you off once you get to the showdown.

Finally, should you ever fold a full house on fifth street?  Very rarely.  The only instance when folding might cross your mind is if you see trips on the board that would represent a full house bigger than yours.  For instance, suppose you again hold those jacks full of 9s, and there are three aces open on the board.  Ouch.  By the time it gets to you, odds are it will be just one bet – the bet from the open aces.  No one would raise him.  With a full house, you generally want to call – poker player would have to have the last ace or a pair in the hole to be full.

If, however, Poker Player played aggressively on third street, the three-of-a-kind on the board might be an indicator that he has more than the trips on the board – quad aces or aces full.  If that’s the case – and such a situation is quite rare- knowing your opponent well will help you determine whether to fold your full house.  Doing so is very, very difficult, and with a full house, even when there are greater trips on the board, calling is the best thing to do, especially if the last card that would improve you to quads is still alive.  The only time I would recommend folding a boat on fifth street is if you’ve seen a lot of heavy action (two bets or more) by the time the betting gets to you from hands that could be better than your full house.

Here’s an example: let’s say I have 4s full of 9s.  A online poker player with trip 7s on the board has bet, and he has been re-raised by a pair of kings on the board. It’s two bets back to me.  The little voice inside of me may say to call, but with two bets before me from two hands that could have me beaten, the right move would be to fold.  Doing this will take you a lot of discipline.  Fortunately, though, the situation won’t come up all that often.  When it does, having the courage to lay down a great hand will save you money, and you’ll be breathing a big sigh of relief come the showdown.

Quick Guide….
….To Full House on Fifth Street:

  • RAISE with a full house that’s 9s full or worse.  Raise if you see any pairs that could improve to a full house bigger than yours.  Finally, always re-raise if it is two bets to you and you do not see anything threatening from Poker Player who raised.
  • CALL if you have a big full house and there are clearly no other threats.
  • FOLD rarely with a full house, but do so if you feel that you are beaten by a player who has already made a bigger hand than yours.


Sixth Street

Completed Solid Hands

Trips & Poker Two Pairs



Seventh Street

Calling Seventh Street

Quick Quiz

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Keep Records

the Shaking Hand