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Say I have a 10 and Q. Opponent has a 10 and K.

On the table there is 10 2 3 4 A

Is this a split pot, as we both have a pair of 10s, and then we both use the Ace?

Or does the tie-breaker always have to come from our own hand, so the King beats the Queen?

  • Poker hands have exactly five cards, no more, no less. Whether they are in your hand or not doesn't matter in hold'em. In this case, 10-10-A-K-4 beats 10-10-A-Q-4. If, for example, the deuce on the board were paired, then you would split because 10-10-2-2-A ties 10-10-2-2-A, and the K doesn't play. – Lee Daniel Crocker Nov 4 '14 at 0:01
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  • your hand is: pair of Tens + Ace kicker 1 + Queen kicker 2
  • opponent hand: pair of Tens + Ace kicker 1 + King kicker 2

So your opponent wins.

I really don't want to be rude, but please google it next time, I'm sure you would've found the answer.

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  • Thanks Radu. I had searched this site first, but only found answers about when the best 5 cards are all on the table. – Darren Cook Sep 12 '14 at 19:44
  • @DarrenCook OK, fair enough :) – Radu Murzea Sep 12 '14 at 19:44
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You hand is always the best five card hand you can make, so in this case:

Your hand is : Pair of 10's with an Ace, Queen, and 4
Their hand is: Pair of 10's with an Ace, King , and 4

The King beats the Queen, so their hand is best; they win the pot. The 4 is also relevant since it is part of the best 5 card hand you can make.

A tie occurs only if your best five card hands are the same. Suppose the board was:

10 A K Q 2

Then if you had 10 9, and your opponent had 10 3, you would tie since you would both have:

Pair of 10's with an Ace, King, and Queen

The 9 you have is irrelevant since it isn't part of your best 5 card hand.

If you always think "best 5 cards" it becomes easy to tell when to apply kickers and when not too. For example a full house is a five card hand, so having a full house with an Ace kicker is meaningless. If two players have the same full house, then they tie (assuming no better hands).

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