# What is Two Pair in Poker and How Does This Hand Rank?

The two-pair poker hand doesn’t offer especially high value, either in Texas Hold ‘em or Omaha. In fact, only two hands are ranked lower in poker, so it can prove challenging to play this type of hand in real time.

But what beats 2 pairs in poker, and what are the best strategies when playing this hand? We’ll explore this below while appraising the implied probability of being dealt this hand.

“Poker is a game of chance played by skillful and strategic mathematical geniuses.”

## What Does Two Pair Look Like in Poker?

As you can see, a two-pair hand in poker comprises two numerical pairs of any suit. You can be dealt 858 distinct hands comprising two pairs in a standard 52-card deck. Despite being the eighth-best poker hand, it’s one of the most common, with an implied probability of 4.7539% and odds against of 20.03535/1.

### What are the Odds and Probability of Hitting a Poker Two Pair Hand?

As we can see, there are standard odds of 20.03535/1 against you being dealt two pairs at the start of a game. These odds imply a 4.7539% probability of this hand being drawn, making it the third most likely after one pair and a high-value card. Where Does Two Pair Rank in the Poker Hand Ratings Chart?

As I’ve already touched on, a two-pair poker hand is ranked eighth in the overall hierarchy of poker hands. However, although it’s not a particularly high-value hand, the odds of you being dealt two pairs are relatively high on the flop, turn, or river.

This is especially true if you’re dealt a pair of pocket aces, although this could also set up a superior hand such as a full house or even four-of-a-kind. To learn more about precisely where a two-pair hand sits in the poker pantheon, check out our detailed guide!

## What Does Two Pair in Poker Beat?

Seven of the 10 available hands beat 2 pairs in poker, so this remains a low-level hand that’s hard to play effectively. However, it does beat one pair and a high card hand. Here’s an at-a-glance summary for you to consider!

Two Pairs beats a Royal Flush ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ✔️ ✔️

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat A Royal Flush?

A Royal Flush is the best possible hand in poker, and it defeats any conceivable brace of pairs. However, your odds of being dealt a Royal Flush are vanishingly low at 649,739/1, implying just a 0.000154% probability of this outcome occurring. Remember, there’s only one distinct hand that comprises a Royal Flush, and 858 potential two-pair combinations in poker.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat a Straight Flush?

A Straight Flush ranks second in the poker hand tier. This comprises five numerically sequential cards of the same suit, while your odds of being dealt this hand are 72,192.33/1. So, there’s only a 0.00139% of you constructing a Straight Flush at the beginning of each hand. There are nine distinct hands of this type that can be dealt.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat Four Of A Kind?

The four-of-a-kind poker hand ranks third overall and includes four numerically identical cards. There are 156 potential iterations of this hand, while the odds against this being drawn are 4,164/1. So, it’s considerably less likely than a two-pair poker hand and has an implied probability of just 0.02401%.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat a Full House?

Standard two-pair poker rules also dictate that this hand loses to a Full House. This hand comprises a single pair and three-of-a-kind, while the cards can be of any suit. The odds against this hand being drawn are 693.1667/1 at the beginning of any game, so there’s a 0.1441% implied probability of this outcome occurring.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat a Flush?

The fifth-ranked poker hand is called a ‘Flush’. This may be the lowest-ranked flush, but it still defeats a two-pair poker hand. The odds against this hand being drawn are also prohibitive at 507.8019/1, implying just a 0.1965% of you being dealt five non-sequential cards of the same suit. Once you’ve drawn a single pair, you have no chance of being dealt a flush.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat a Straight?

The sixth-best poker hand, a ‘Straight’ comprises five numerically sequential cards of any suit. Despite being a lowly hand, it easily defeats two pairs, while your odds of being dealt this are 253.8/1. So, you have a 0.3925% implied probability of being dealt a straight, although this is considerably less likely than ending up with a two-pair poker hand.

### In Poker Does Two Pair Beat Three Of A Kind?

The final poker hand that defeats two pairs is three-of-a-kind, which boasts odds of  46.32955/1 and an implied probability value of 2.1128%. Interestingly, there are also 858 distinct three-of-a-kind hands that may be dealt, but you’re more than twice as likely to draw two poker card pairs.

### What Other Hands Does a Two-Pair Poker Hand Beat?

Now that we know what beats two pairs in poker, we can focus on the hands that you can defeat when you’ve drawn these cards. These include:

• One Pair – As the name suggests, a poker two-pair hand defeats a single pair. The latter is the ninth-ranked poker hand (out of 10) and offers odds against of 1.366477/1. These odds imply a 42.2569% probability of you being dealt a single pair during a game.
• High Card – 2 pairs in poker also comfortably defeats a high card, which is the lowest-ranked hand in any iteration of the game. There are 1,277 distinct high-card poker hands, while the odds against this being drawn are just 0.9953015/1. These odds imply a 50.1177% probability value, although the cumulative probability is as high as 100%. Understanding this is critical if you’re to learn how to win at poker!

## Who Wins in Poker With Two Pairs?

OK, we hear you ask, but who wins in poker if both have 2 pairs? Well, it’s the highest value pair in a two-pair hand in poker that will prove decisive.

For context, let’s look at a two-pair example hand. In this case, no player has the top pair of aces, one player is dealt K-K-J-J-9, while his opponent is holding Q-Q-10-10-3. The former will win here as Kings rank higher than Queens. If the higher value pair ties, it’s the best lowest value pair that will prove decisive.

In the statistically unlikely event that both players have identical high and low pairs, the outcome is decided by the value of the remaining card or ‘kicker’. A kicker describes any card that doesn’t take part in determining the initial rank of a hand. So, if the competing hands were K-K-J-J-9 vs K-K-J-J-3, the ‘nine’ card would win the hand for the former.

## What Are The Odds Of Hitting a Two Pair Poker Hand With Any Pocket Pair?

You’re likely to be drawn a pocket pair 6% of the time in poker or in one of every 17 hands dealt on average. The odds of flopping two pairs with an unpaired starting hand is around 2.02 or 1 in 49.5 hands. But what are the odds of drawing two pairs as the game commences?

Two Pairs Probability Pocket Aces Pocket Aces, Kings, Queens, or Jacks Any other pocket pair
Pre Flop Odds 5.60% 4.31% 3.80%
Post Flop Odds 16.7% 16.7% 16.7%
After The Turn Odds 19.5% 19.5% 19.5%
After The River Odds 20.3% 20.3% 19.57%

## What is the Difference Between Two Pairs vs Three Pairs

At this stage, you may be wondering “Is 2 pairs higher than 3 of a kind?” The short answer is no, but card game novices may also be confused as to why three pairs aren’t higher than a classic two-pair poker hand. If this is unclear we have explained it below. You might also like to check out a separate resource we have on how to play poker.

After all, Texas Hold ‘em is a poker game in which two hole cards are dealt alongside five community cards. So, it’s theoretically possible to construct a hand with three pairs. However, this is not recognized as an official hand in poker as you’re only able to use five of the cards drawn. Here’s some further context:

• Two pair – As discussed earlier, a typical poker two-pair hand will be composed as follows: K-K-10-10-3. In this case, you’ll have been dealt two relatively high-value pairs, and unless the remaining two cards dealt include two Kings, two 10s, two threes, or one of either a King or 10 (to create a full house), this will be the best hand that you can present.
• Three pairs – Conversely, let’s say that your cumulative seven-card hand comprises the following: Q-Q-9-9-3-3-7. Although this creates three pairs, you can only incorporate five cards, so your best possible hand in this instance is Q-Q-9-9-7. However, this will be beaten by the hand detailed above, due to the established two-pair kicker rules.

## Poker Two Pair Hand Playing Strategy

Poker is rightly categorized as a game of skill. So, you can leverage your choice of poker strategy to create a competitive advantage against your opponents. Now that we’ve answered the question “What is a two-pair hand in poker?”, we’re going to address how to play this hand in a variety of different scenarios.

• Playing After Defending the Big Blind: Playing directly after the big blind can be advantageous, as it’s much easier to determine your hand strength and analyze the flop accurately. In this case, we’d recommend playing strong hands more aggressively. This is particularly true if you have two pairs with matching suits (such as 8♦ 6♦ 8♣ 6♣), as this also reduces the chances of opponents building straight flushes. In this instance, you should always check-raise to extract value and grow the pot.
• Playing in Position as the Pre-Flop Aggressor: As always, your precise strategy will be determined by the cards you’re dealt. For example, playing with the best pairs in poker (such as Aces and Kings) will always encourage you to be more aggressive, as this helps you to maximize value more often than not. This applies to both single-raised pots and 3-bet pots, even when you have to check or raise before the flop. Remember, an initial two-pair poker hand can also lay the foundation for either a full-house or three or four-of-a-kind.
• Play Fast When Dealing with Multi-Way Pots: Multi-way pots are popular online, and there are no hard or fast rules on how to play a poker two-pair hand in this type of game. However, it’s better to play this type of hand fast in such instances, as this helps to protect the equity that exists in your cards. It also creates a clear incentive to bluff (particularly when out of position), as this may be key when attempting to win with a relatively low-ranked hand).

## What is the Best Site to Learn Poker Hands?

If you are going to learn how to play poker and successfully leverage Texas Hold ‘em two-pair rules, there are several tutorials that can help. CoinPoker has an in-depth guide published on its website, alongside comprehensive resources for Omaha iterations.

Here at ReadWrite, we have also published several expert poker guides that are aimed at beginners and provide the ideal starting point for your journey as a player.

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## Conclusion

The content in this piece is also primarily focused on beginners. Hopefully, it should have imparted some key lessons pertaining to a poker two-pair hand, including the following:

• What is a Two Pair in Poker?  – In this guide, we’ve discussed what comprises a two-pair poker hand and the odds against this hand being drawn. We’ve also analyzed the implied probability of this outcome occurring.
• Where this Hand Sits on the Poker Chart  – We have also learned that this hand is ranked eighth out of 10 in the poker hierarchy. So, you now know who wins in poker with two pairs and what hands you can beat with such cards. You should also have answered the question “Does 4 of a kind beat 2 pairs?”
• The Hierarchy of 2 Pair Hands  – Does a higher pair win in poker? Yes, the poker two-pair tiebreaker sees the hand with the highest pair win. If this ties, the hand will be determined by which lower pair is higher. If this also ties, the hand will be decided by the highest value ‘kicker’ card.
• How to Play a 2-Pair Poker Hand  – This resource includes strategy and tips on how to effectively play two pairs in poker too. This includes insights on how to play from different positions on the table and in various scenarios.
• Where to Learn More  – We’ve also included links to our own resources and external tutorials. These cover everything from basic poker two-pair rules to advanced strategy advice and which hands optimize your chances of winning.

Some of the more advanced strategy guides and resources are linked below. These will provide invaluable information for the more seasoned and knowledgeable players among you!

## Responsible Gambling

Because the poker two-pair hand ranks only eighth out of 10, you’ll need to play it carefully and strategically. You’ll also have to protect your hand’s equity and manage your bankroll carefully at all times.

This is key to responsible gambling, as is ensuring that your bankroll covers a finite period of time. You can use customizable deposit limits and timeouts to create practical management tools. Our own responsible gambling resource can help provide further guidance as well. The following resources may also offer more practical help and advice:

## References

Content suitable for 18+ readers only. Always gamble responsibly. The content found in this article is not to be taken as betting advice. Speculative gambling could lead to a loss of capital. It’s free to use this website, but we might receive a commission from companies featured within it. If you are having trouble with gambling then help and advice can be found at begambleaware.org

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

##### Lewis HumphriesSports Betting Expert

Lewis is a seasoned sports writer and betting expert at ReadWrite. He has been written about sports, remote betting and sportsbooks for more than 10 years, with his work featuring in publications such as The Boot Room, Yahoo Sports and 90min. He writes most extensively about soccer, basketball, American football and boxing, but retains an interest in a huge range of sports.

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