I have a simple question about a hand play in poker. Below is the situation:
Player 1 cards - A3 Player 2 cards - AJ
5 cards on table - QQ995
Do we split the pot or there is a winner here?
Poker Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for serious players and enthusiasts of poker. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
I'm assuming this is Texas Hold'em. In Texas Hold'em, you play the best 5-card hand you can, regardless of whether those cards come from your hole cards or the community (board) cards. That means a player could make a hand with any of these combinations:
Based upon that, the best hand that both players can make is two pair with an ace kicker (QQ99A). The secondary card in each player's hand does not matter since you cannot play a 6th card as part of your hand. This means that the pot is split because both players are playing the same 5 cards.
Put another way, if AJ wanted to use their J, the best hand they could make is QQAJ9. The A3 player's best hand is still QQ99A, and QQAJ9 loses to QQ99A. This is realistically not going to happen since each player must play their best possible hand, but it's simply to demonstrate why the J does not play in the AJ hand (and similarly the 3 does not play from the A3 hand).