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Filled Up - Full House - Full Boat

by Jesse Knight
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Fill-Up in Poker
Fill Up – To complete a full house.


To “fill up” means to complete a full house in a poker game. “To fill up,” may be shortened to simply “to fill,” and the term “full house,” may be shortened to “full.” A full house is also sometimes called a “full boat,” or simply a “boat.”

A full house is a completed five card poker hand which contains three of a kind plus a pair of a different ranking. It is a strong hand, ranking above a flush, and below four of a kind. When a player holds four of the five cards necessary to make a full house, and they still have additional cards left to come, they may “fill up,” by catching a card which completes their full house. There are two ways in which a player can draw to a full house. In the first scenario, a player holds two pair. In this case, a player may catch a third card of equal rank to either pair, which results in a full house holding (three of a kind plus a pair). Alternatively, a player may hold three of a kind and at least one other unpaired card of a different ranking. Here, the three of a kind requirement for a full house is already filled, and the player needs only to pair one of his unpaired cards in order to complete the full house. In this situation, a player is typically not only drawing to a full house, but also to four of a kind.

If a player is drawing to a full house, they may or may not need to fill up in order to win the pot. On many occasions, the two pair or three of a kind that they are holding is enough to win the pot without improving. This is not the case when their opponent has already completed a straight, flush, or small full house. If you are drawing to a full house against a made hand of this nature, you will need to fill up if you are going to win the pot. It is often a mistake to get too aggressive with a full house draw if you suspect that you are already beat. The odds are against you that you will fill up. Still, three of a kind or two pair is a strong draw, and you may have the pot odds or implied odds to take the draw even if you are pretty sure that you are an underdog to win the pot. This is something you should consider when deciding on whether or not you should try to draw out.

A player must have at least four cards in their hand to have a full house draw, and at least five cards to have a completed full house. This means, that in a stud game, the earliest a player can fill up is Fifth Street, provided that their board is paired. A player cannot fill prior to the river in a stud game if their board is not paired, because that is when the third down card is delived. In a flop game, the earliest a player can fill up is on the flop, provided the board is paired. The board must pair at some point in a flop game if a player is to make a full house or four of a kind, because the river card is delivered face up. If the board does not pair during the course of the hand then neither a full house nor a four of a kind is possible in a flop game.

Some players bet like they have the unbeatable nuts once they fill up Making a full house is no guarantee that you will win the pot. Full houses frequently lose to larger full houses, and occasionally to four of a kind or better. This is especially true in a game like Omaha or Omaha Eight or Better (Omaha Hi-Lo Split). Do not over bet your full house by continuing to raise the pot after another player with the potential for a bigger hand has shown aggression repeatedly. Remember, it is not the size of your hand that matters. The only thing that matters is the size of your hand relative to the size of your opponents’ hands.

Usage: Filled up, Full on Fifth Street, Full House Draw, Filled It

Previous Poker Term: Fifth Street
Next Poker Term: Fire

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