# Holding a pair and two pair are on the board. Who wins?

I have a question. In Texas holdem if someone has a pair and two pair are on the board who wins the hand?

• If the pair matches one of the pairs on the board they win for sure Jan 12 '16 at 17:36

TL;DR: It's always the best five-card hand that wins at showdown.

Who wins? It depends. The Five Card Rule applies. You make the best hand you can from your two hole cards and the five board cards. Your opponent does the same with their cards. The best hand wins. If the hands are the same, then the pot is split.

First example:

You: K♥K⋄

Opponent: Q♥Q⋄

The board comes 5♥5♠7♣7♠A♣

Your best hand from the 7 available cards is K♥K⋄7♣7♠A♣.

Your opponent's best hand is Q♥Q⋄7♣7♠A♣.

You have two pair, kings and sevens. Your opponent has two pair, queens and sevens. Your hand is best, so you win the pot.

Second example, using the same board cards but different hole cards:

You: 4♥4⋄

Opponent: 3♥3⋄

The board comes 5♥5♠7♣7♠A♣

Your best hand from the 7 available cards is 7♣7♠5♥5♠A♣.

Your opponent's best hand is also 7♣7♠5♥5♠A♣.

You both have two pair, sevens and fives with an ace kicker, so you split the pot.

Third example:

If one of your cards can play as the kicker (i.e., a single high card that plays in the set of five total cards), one player can still have the best hand even if the pocket pair is no good. Say you both have the same hole cards from the previous example, but the final board card is a 2...

You: 4♥4⋄

Opponent: 3♥3⋄

The board comes 5♥5♠7♣7♠2♣

Your best hand from the 7 available cards is 7♣7♠5♥5♠4♥.

Your opponent's best hand is 7♣7♠5♥5♠3♥.

You both have two pair, sevens and fives, but your 4 kicker is better than your opponent's 3, so you win the pot. (Pocket 3's happens to be the worst possible hand on this board.)

It's always the best five-card hand.

• +1 The other opponent with 32 also loses the third hand. She must be the opponent you're talking about that played the 3 of clubs ;)
– Paul
Jan 12 '16 at 21:11
• Oh, yeah. 23 is another one. I'm not sure how I screwed up those suits when copy-pasting. Jan 12 '16 at 21:39
• Is there a name for the worst possible hand? Like the anti-nuts or something?
– user1934
Jan 12 '16 at 23:51
• @Michael it's sometimes called the nut low.
– mah
Jan 15 '16 at 20:17
• Nut low implies a good thing, though. That's the term used for the best possible low hand in a high-low split game. Jan 15 '16 at 21:24