Updated — Poker Puzzle: Best Full House?

Lots of my readers are poker fans, so here is one for you from the current issue of online stats/probability journal Chance:

You may assume you are playing straight five-card stud poker (everyone gets five cards, all closed, no exchange) with (say) five companions, using a single normal deck. As a result of God owing you a favor, you are entitled to a full house, and you get to choose the full house you will get. Which should you choose?

Post your answer here.

[Update] By popular request — okay email besiegement — there is an answer here, but be sure not to peek too soon.


  1. Come on, this one is easy. How can a student get a fair subscription with Chance?

  2. Three kings, two aces (3K2A). While three aces & two kings is an absolute higher hand, 3K2A beats any other full house and allows another player to hold 3?2A which would make for some interesting rounds of bidding.