Explanation of Kicker

In the vast majority of poker variants, poker hands must be made utilizing exactly five cards. For example, in the case of making a pair, we also need to use three kickers to complete the final hand. In situations where two players tie for the made hand component of a holding, the kickers are used to determine the winner.

Some made hands such as straights, flushes and full-houses, naturally use all five cards and leave no room for kickers. Any holding which uses less than 5-cards (such as three of a kind, two-pair and quads) must make use of an appropriate number of kickers to complete the full strength of the holding.

Example of Kicker used in a sentence -> We had three of a kind Queens with Ace and Jack kickers.

How to Use Kicker as Part of Your Poker Strategy

Being “outkicked” describes a situation where we make the “same” hand as our opponent but only lose as a result of kickers.

Sometimes being outkicked is simply bad luck, while on other occasions we should potentially have been able to get away from our dominated holding.

See Also 

Domination, Pair, Hand Rankings, Two-pair, Three of a Kind, Flush