I have played the free Texas Holdem in one online poker app. I do not understand why the winner is approximated apparently randomly when two players both have pairs of exact magnitude, for instance

Board cards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Player 1: J, 7
Player 2: J, 7

How should the winner be decided when both players have exactly the same pair in Texas holdem?

  • Not duplicate. Here double pair of same cards with both players. I think it should be equal victory but the game system awards the victory to only one player. I do not understand this behavior. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 19:33
  • This isn't clear to me. Are there board cards? Player A has what? Player B has what?
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 23:10
  • I think he's referring to situations where both players make two pairs with their hole cards. In this case it should indeed be a split pot, unless there is a flush. I suspect the asker may occasionally have missed that?
    – Yang
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:04
  • There was no flush. I did not miss it. This is occurring systematically in the app so I think it is a bug. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:05
  • Can you take a screen shot next time? Also, can you give a specific example of a hand? I don't understand the example you included in your question.
    – Yang
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


Repeat this 100 times until it really sinks in: All poker hands have exactly 5 cards, no more, no fewer. EXACTLY 5 cards. In Hold'em, you play the best possible 5-card hand you can make out of the 7 available to you, and your 5 cards are compared against your opponent's 5 cards. Exactly 5 cards, no more, no fewer.

If two players both have two pair, the winner is determined by comparing (1) the higher pair, (2) the lower pair, and (3) the fifth card in the hand.

So, for example (ignoring suits for now)

Board: Ax 2x Jx 4x 9x
Player 1: Ax 2x
Player 2: Jx 9x

Player 1 has AA229, which beats JJ99A, because aces beat jacks and there's no need to go further.

Board: Kx 9x 8x Jx 4x
Plr 1: Kx8x
Plr 2: KxJx

Player 1's KK88J loses to player 2's KKJJ9, because jacks beat eights. No need to go to the fifth card.

Board: Ax 5x Ax Qx 3x
Plr 1: Qx Jx
Plr 2: Qx 4x

Plr 1 has AAQQJ, which beats Plr 2's AAQQ5 (since the 5 on the board beats that player's 4, he plays it, but still loses to the J).

Board: Ax 5x 5x Qx 3x
Plr 1: Ax2x
Plr 2: Ax9x

In this case, even though plr 2's second card is higher, they tie, because each is playing AA55Q--the Q on the board is the same for both.

Board: Ax 5x Jx 7x 7x
Plr 1: Ax5x
Plr 2: AxKx

Here, player 1's extra pair of 5s is useless: his best 5-card hand is AA77J, which loses to player 2's AA77K.

Board: Ax 9x Qx Qx Ax
Plr 1: 8x8x
Plr 2: 4x4x

These players also tie, because the best 5-card hand is AAQQ9. The poket pairs simply don't matter. On the other hand:

Board Ax 3x Qx Qx Ax
Plr 1: 8x8x
Plr 2: 4x4x

Now player 1 has AAQQ8, and beats player 2's AAQQ4.

  • Excellent answer! I did not understand rules correctly. Now, it is much clearer. Thank you! Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 20:03

Although several of the answers above have certainly covered the rules of the game, I believe your answer may be this:

"I have played the free Texas Holdem in one online poker app."

Many of the free online apps have been poorly written and therefore have lots of bugs like the one you are describing. Keep that in mind, and as long as you got the rules down from the earlier answers, you should be fine if you ever decide to play live in a casino.

  • One site I will not name has a free poker app that robs the entire pot from the winner if everybody (but the remaining player) folds pre-flop!
    – user1934
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 20:01

If both players have cards of the same rank (eg. 77 vs 77,JJ vs JJ), and they're the only ones to see the showdown (where your cards are finally shown) then they split the pot. That means they share the current pot, 50-50.

Although, there are cases where both players have the exact same pair and one of them wins if the board helps them. For example:

  • player A : 7♣7⋄
  • player B : 7♥7♠
  • board : A♣K♣J♣T♣4⋄

The player A wins because his hand is not a pair anymore, the board helped him and he end up with a flush.

Long story short, when you and opponent have the same pair or, in general, the exact same rank like say A♣K♥ vs A⋄K♠ , you can only lose by the opponent hitting a flush. That is because only the suits differ between the hands.

If they somehow hit a straight, they still share the pot.

  • I mean both players have 77 and JJ. Double pair. - Yes. The opponent did not have flush but he still wins. I do not understand the behavior of the game system mentioned in my body. It is biased. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 19:31
  • 1
    Yes, if you have a pocket pair, and your opponent has the other two of that rank, then a flush is the only way one will beat the other (of course, they can both lose to a third player). If this really happened as you described, and you can show a hand history, it is not "bias", it's completely wrong, and must be corrected. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 19:49
  • @Masi, i see, i thought of this exactly the wrong way :) Lee got through this wonderfully +1
    – user1165
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 21:39

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