One Pair (Poker Hand)
When a player matches one of their hole cards to one on the board or holds two cards of the same value (.i.e. 10-10), they are said to have one pair, which is the second best hand that can be hit in a hand of poker (only ahead of High Card). Pre flop, pairs look much stronger and valuable than they might otherwise appear when the board is dealt. The board will determine the strength of your pair. When the flop is dealt in Texas Hold'em a player can either hit top pair, a middle pair or bottom pair. As the aim is to make the best hand, bottom and middle pairs are seldom associated with that much confidence that they are ahead. Top pair means that you have paired one of your hole cards with the highest card on the board. In other words you've made the best pair available from the shared cards - a good spot to be in..
In terms of how pairs stand up against each other, the value of pairs diminishes from AA, KK, QQ all the way down to 22, the lowest pair that can be made. It's very plausible that two or more players can have the same value pair. Where this occurs, the players kicker card comes into play - this is the unpaired card that's left. If i hold 10-9 and the board reads 10-5-2, i would have a pair of 10's with a 9 kicker. If my opponent held 10-J, they would win as they would also have one pair of 10's but would 'out kick me' with the Jack.
Looking at another example , you hold A K and flop comes A 8 5 and you opponent holds A 9 , the result is you both have a pair of aces. In this case if both hands didn't improve you would win with a pair of aces and king kicker (ass opposed to your opponents 9). Think of kickers as a way of determining a winner when both players hold the same ranked hand.
Kicker cards are not used where one player has an outright winning hand.
Important Beginners Guides..
Read this no nonsense guide on how to play poker - covering the basics and game play. Perfect for those starting out.
A no nonsense guide on how to play poker. Ideal for beginners looking to learn how to play Texas Hold'em.
Check out this set of rules. It's as close to universal as you will get! Most card rooms use a variation of these.
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