A few co-workers and I were playing Texas Hold'em before work. On the table. There was the ten, jack, king and ace. I had a queen and another king. Another guy also had a queen, but a seven. I said that I won because I also had a pair and even if that's not valid, my second card was higher than his second card. But he said that it didn't matter; we tied, because you can only use 5 cards in and of themselves in Texas Hold'em. I'm inclined to believe that, but this guy in particular always thinks he's right and never listens to anyone, so I'm skeptical. Did we in fact tie or was he just being a sore loser?

1 Answer 1


The texas hold'em is all about making the best 5-card combination.

  • board: T♥J♠K⋄A⋄

  • Your best 5-card combination: T♥J♠K⋄A⋄ and Q♣ (nut straight)

  • His best 5-card combination: T♥J♠K⋄A⋄ and Q♥ (nut straight)

The kicker at this very point (turn) means exactly nothing. You both have the best hand, you split the pot, although another card should be shown in the board (the river).

  • Indeed, in hold'em there are times when neither of your card matters to the outcome ("playing the board"), such as 99 vs 23 in a board with JJQQA. In other variants of poker you have to play some or all of your hole cards, e.g. you have to play at least 2 out of 4 in Omaha, which changes strategy significantly. I suggest OP go over the common hold'em rules, it will reduce unnecessary arguments and help you formulate better strategy at these rare situations.
    – Yang
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 4:50

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