In the game of poker, if you have three of a kind and a pair, which hand do you have?

And the answer: full house.

In poker, each player holds five playing cards, which forms a hand. If you have three of a kind plus a pair, such as three queens and two 9s, you have a hand known as a full house.    

Photo: UpswingPoker.com

With millions of players worldwide, poker is one of the most popular betting games around. Although many associate it with its beginnings in the United States, poker actually is thought to have been invented around 1,000 years ago in China or as a game called nas in 16th century Persia. Wherever its origins, a version of it became popular in France, and was introduced from there to Canada and then the United States, where it was popularized. It's now played in various forms worldwide.

Poker has evolved quite a bit over time. In fact, early poker games were not played with the standard 52-card deck we use today – that deck came about in the mid-1800s to accommodate more players. According to several mid-19th century authors, people playing poker started out using a 20-card deck. This necessitated bets being made in a narrow combination range with four players each getting five cards.

Did you know?

The four kings in the poker deck actually have meaning! Some sources suggest they've been named after actual kings: Roman Caesar Augustus, Alexander the Great, King David of Israel, and King Charlemagne of France.

There are many hands you can play to win in a game of poker, but perhaps the most famous is a royal flush. This entails a hand with an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 all in the same suit – the highest values possible. However, recent studies have revealed that the odds of getting this hand clock in at around 649,740 to 1. We blame Parent Trap for making it look so easy.

Learn more about the rules and history of poker here. You can also read more about the history of playing cards in our article from November 2020.



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