Poker Hand Rankings: One Pair

A pair represents the lowest-ranking made hand in the standard poker hand rankings. A one pair hand consists of two of the same ranking card, along with three other unpaired cards in a five-card hand.

One pair hands beat high card hands, but a pair loses to every other made hand. For example, three-of-a-kind, straights, flushes, and everything above that in the hand rankings beats a pair.

A pair is still often good enough to win the pot in a game of Texas Hold’em, however. An example of a one pair hand looks like this:

Poker Hand Rankings: One Pair

Poker Hand Rankings: One Pair

Note that the other three cards in a one pair hand must be unpaired cards. A hand like A♠ATT♣2, for instance, makes two pair. Other examples of one pair could be hands like 8♠86♠32♣ or KK♣9♠5♠4.

If two or more one pair hands go against each other at showdown, the higher-ranking pair wins. For instance, a pair of kings (like our KK♣9♠5♠4example) beats a pair of eights (8♠8♥6♠3♦2♣).

If two of the same ranking one pair hands battle each other at showdown, the pair with the highest-ranking kicker (the highest of the unpaired cards) wins. For example, KK♣Q♠T♠7 beats KK♣9♠5♠4♦, as the Q♠ kicker in the first hand outranks the 9♠ kicker in the second hand.

How Does a One Pair Hand Rank?

One pair hands beat high card hands, but all other made hands in the poker hand rankings beat a pair.

If you randomly draw five cards from a standard 52-card deck, you have a 42.2569% chance of making a pair. That can also be expressed as 1.366-to-1 odds against drawing a pair.

A regulation poker deck yields 2,860 distinct ways to make a one pair hand. Factoring in suit combinations, you have 1,098,240 different possible ways to make a pair.

Texas Hold’em requires players to make the best five-card hand out of seven possible cards. In a game of Texas Hold’em, you have a 43.8% chance of making a pair with all five community cards on the board. This equates to 1.28-to-1 odds against making a pair.

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