In anticipation of a poker night tonight, I'm brushing up on my skills by playing a quick online game with a computer.

I was surprised to have won this hand:

Winning Hand

I can see that my 9 is obviously playing some role in settling the score, but it was my understanding that if the communal hand was better (ranked higher) than any of the other hands in the game, that the pot would be split.

As per this explanation of a split pot:

In Texas Hold'em the winning hand is the highest five card hand. It can be made from any combination of the two personal cards held by the players and the five community cards. In some cases the highest five card hand is made by using the five community cards as in our example above. A sixth or seventh card is never used to break a tie.

In my example, the communal cards have a better hand than me and my opponent. Should that not mean a split pot?


I believe the question is different from the proposed duplicate because it pertains to a situation where the top five cards in the communal pile are not the best.

I have realised, since posting, that the 2 Clubs held by the communal pile is actually the week link, as both myself and my opponent get to swap it out with our higher cards. I forgot that the rest of our 'trickless' hand can be made up from the communal pile (i.e we get to use the Ace Clubs and 6 Hearts in our 'Top Five'.


1 Answer 1


Best five cards, hence: 77A96 is better than 77A86.

  • More relevant (and the source of confusion) for me, is the fact that they both beat the communal hand 77A62. That is, both our 8 and 9 beat the communal's 2. But I will mark as correct.
    – shennan
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:18
  • 2
    Whether they beat the communal hand or not is not relevant ( you can use it as a hint of it makes it easier for you). Each player has 7 cards, 2 cards in hand and 5 cards on the flop ( community cards). Out of these 7 cards, each player will extract the best 5 cards hands. If your 5 cards are stronger than his 5 cards, you win. In this case, your 7 cards are A727694 out of which the best 5 cards hand is 77A96 which beats your opponent 77A86.
    – Samy Arous
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:38
  • @SamyArous I don't think beating the communal hand is "not relevant". If the communal hand has (say) an A, Q, K, J and a 10 while both players have no tricks to speak of, the pot will be split because the communal hand betters both hands.
    – shennan
    Oct 25, 2015 at 18:22
  • 1
    @shennan Indeed, you are correct. But this is only a consequence of the above. If the board has the strongest combination, then both players will select the same 5 cards out of their 7 cards hand. ( the communal hand in this particular case ). You can use it as shortcut to quickly guess who the winner is, but if you want a technical and consise answer, then the rule states that each player will extract a 5 cards combination out of their 2 pocket cards and the 5 community cards. This will also help you when you move to other poker variant like 7Stud ( in which every player has 7 cards in hand )
    – Samy Arous
    Oct 26, 2015 at 19:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.