08-10-04, LearnTexasHoldem:

Clarification On Two Pair Vs Two Pair

Question: Hey, first of all, great poker site.

Now, I am not fully sure on when kickers come into play. I know for things such as straights, flushes, and full houses, there are no kickers since those hands are already 5 cards, but other than that I'm not 100% sure.

Pairs, 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, when are kickers used? I thought I understood completely, but then I read an old question on your site which confused me....

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Question: Me and my uncle were playing Texas hold'em, and a tie occurred. there was two pairs on the board, three's and 8's. I bet a rather large sum, and my uncle called it. When we turned over our hands, we both had aces to make two pairs, aces high. However, he had a king as the next highest card, and I had a 10. He said that he wins the pot, because his 6th card was the highest. I said that the 6th card was irrelevant, and that we should split the pot. Who is correct in this situation?

Answer: Yes you are correct -- the best five cards play, the sixth card is irrelevant. You both have the same hand 8833A.


I did not understand this, because how is the uncle's King the 6th card? I thought it would be the fifth card. Wouldn't their two pairs of AA/88 be the first four cards, then the fifth cards (which would be kickers) be the King and 10 (their second hole cards), and you'd ignore the other two 3's on the board, making the uncle win with the two pairs and higher (king) kicker?

So I'd be grateful if you could explain when exactly kickers are used, as well as explain the above situation.


Answer 8/10/04: I must have read the question wrong. After reading it more carefully I'm still not sure exactly what each player holds. I'm assuming that the board is 8833A if both players had Aces and he said that there were a pair of 8's and 3's. If player 1 had AK and the other player had AT then the person with AK would win with AA88K vs the other guy's AA88T (the threes are now useless because you can't have three pair).

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