Full boat or more commonly just 'boat' is a poker nickname for a full house. A full house consists of three cards of identical rank along with two cards of another identical rank. In other words, it is like holding both three of a kind and a pair at the same time.

In this guide we’ll learn the following - 

How are Full Boats Named in Poker?

Full Boats (or ‘full houses’) are named using the system X’s full of Y’s where X is the three of a kind component and Y is the pair component. For example, the full house KKKQQ is referred to as ‘Kings full of Queens’ while the full house QQQKK is referred to as ‘Queens full of Kings’.

How Are Boats Ranked In Poker?

The three of a kind component of the full house is always consulted first. 88877 (Eights full of Sevens) beats AA222 (Deuces full of Aces) because the three of a kind component is stronger.

Assuming two players hold the same three of a kind component, then the pair is consulted. For example, 88877 loses to 888KK. If the pair component is also the same, then the full houses tie since full houses do not use any kickers. 

How Strong is My Full Boat in Hold’em?

Full boats (or ‘full houses’) are nearly always very strong hands in Hold’em, but there are some exceptions. The best full houses in Hold’em are always formed using both hole-cards. Full houses formed using just one hole-card are a lot more likely to be dominated especially if they are connected with the lower pair on the board. E.g. be careful with 7x holdings on the 7788x board since our opponent only needs have an eight in the hole in order to beat us. 

Why Are Full Houses Called Boats in Poker?

No-one knows for certain, but the most prevalent theory is that river boat gamblers decided to re-appropriate the name from ‘full house’ to ‘full boat’ since the game was very often played on boats. 

Summary of Full Boat

The term ‘full boat’ is simply a nickname for the full house hand ranking in poker. Why not check out this article on full houses in poker for more information?
 

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