Fourth Best

[UU] “This time I knew I was in great shape when I got all my chips in”, moaned Umberto the Unlucky. “I didn’t even know it was possible to have four-of-a-kind and end up with the fourth best hand!”

[AA] “Were there quads on the board?” Al the Almost speculated.

[UU] “No, I mean besides that case. I had a completely disguised monster. I limped in under the gun, called a standard button raise to three times the big blind after both blinds tagged along, and could scarcely contain myself when the flop had the 10♥ and a pair of red Jacks (J♥J♦) to match my black Jacks (J♠J♣).”

[UU] “After two checks, I checked as well because I wasn’t worried about someone hitting a straight, a flush, or even a full house. I was actually hoping they would. After the dealer checked, the sweetest card in the deck hit the turn, the Q♣. And the fireworks began. The small blind tendered half the pot, the big blind raised to three times that, and I had an easy all-in raise with the nuts. Everyone called, with both blinds all-in for a bit less than me, and I was envisioning nearly quadrupling up into the chip lead.”

[UU] “The small blind flips over 9♥8♥ for the low straight, the big blinds tops him with A♥K♥ for a royal straight, and the button flips over Q♠Q♦ for Queens full of Jacks. My quad Jacks had them crushed, and only one card in the entire deck could beat me…”

[UU] Umberto paused, gathered his breath, and continued disconsolately, “Yes, the river was the dreaded Q♥. The button beat me with four Queens to take the side pot, and the big blind’s Royal Flush outranked the small blind’s Queen-high Straight Flush to win the main pot. I was busted.”

[TT] Tyrone the Telephone eulogized: “Playing with the Queen of Hearts / Knowing it ain’t really smart1 / With three wrong ways to play Jacks / This bad choice gave you the axe”.


  1. Yes, I know that doesn’t quite rhyme. Blame Juice Newton.

Related Links:

  • The odds of a single four-of-a-kind being beat by a single straight flush are 1 in 88 million. If the above hand ever happens, find another game because somebody’s cheating.

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