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What is a One Pair in Poker?

One Pair
One Pair

One Pair is the most common combination out of all poker hands in Texas Hold'em. It accounts for almost half of all poker hands.

What does One Pair look like?

A One Pair hand has five cards where two of them are of the exact same denomination, and the other three are of different ranks. A One Pair looks like so:

  1. A♣, A♥, J♠, 7♣, 4♠
  2. Q♦, Q♥, K♥, 10♣, 2♦
  3. 8♠, 8♣, A♦, J♦, 9♦
  4. 2♥, 2♠, 10♥, 8♣, 4♦

How does One Pair rank?

One Pair in most variants of poker ranks under a Two Pair hand and above a hand with just a High Card. It is generally not a very strong hand and there are usually multiple players that make One Pair in a round.

What Beats One Pair?
Rank
Hand Name
Example
Hand Description
1
10
suit-hearts
J
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
K
suit-hearts
A
suit-hearts
10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.
2
4
suit-clubs
5
suit-clubs
6
suit-clubs
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
3
10
suit-hearts
7
suit-diamonds
7
suit-clubs
7
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
The same card in each of the four suits.
4
K
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
J
suit-diamonds
A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
5
6
suit-hearts
8
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
3
suit-hearts
10
suit-hearts
Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
6
10
suit-diamonds
9
suit-spades
8
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
6
suit-spades
Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
7
2
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-diamonds
Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
8
Q
suit-diamonds
4
suit-hearts
4
suit-diamonds
A
suit-spades
A
suit-diamonds
Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
9
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Q
suit-hearts
5
suit-clubs
5
suit-spades
One pairing of the same card.
10
2
suit-hearts
3
suit-clubs
7
suit-diamonds
Q
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
No matching cards.

The One Pair is ranked based on the denomination of the two matching cards, with Ace being the highest one and 2 being the lowest. For example, a J-J-4-3-2 hand is stronger than 10-10-A-J-7.

How should you play One Pair in Hold’em?

The best way to play One Pair in Texas Hold’em depends entirely on the value of the pair. Small pairs have a solid chance of winning a showdown situation against overcards but they’re also vulnerable, so play with caution.

Be wary of raise bets. Middle pairs are similar but can be considered slightly stronger given their higher value.

The face cards are a minefield. A pair of Jacks are deceptively dangerous. They feel strong but can often end up leaving you with a losing hand. Pocket Queens, Kings, and Aces are where you can go to town (Learn more about poker starting hands here).

Force out the small value card players to ensure you avoid any unwanted surprises. After that then you need to play the situation in front of you on the table.

One Pair Probabilities

When playing Texas Hold'em, there is a very strong probability that the hand will be One Pair. In fact, more than 40% of all hands played with seven cards available result in One pair.

Below, well look at One Pair probabilities when players have their two hole cards and three community cards.

Number of ways to draw the hand (not including different suits) Number of ways to draw the hand (including different suits) Odds of getting One Pair Probability of getting One Pair
2,860 1,098,240 1 / 1.366 42.2569%

The odds of being dealt One Pair on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. To view a wider range of odds and probabilities of being dealt different hands then check out our very own poker odds calculator.

Back to Poker Hands

FAQS

What is One Pair in poker?

One Pair is represented by five cards where two of them are of the same rank and the other three all have different ranks. For example, K-K-7-3-2 is One Pair.

What beats One Pair?

Almost all of the other poker hands will beat One Pair. The closest one above it is a Two Pair hand, followed by Three of a Kind, a Straight, and so on. One Pair can also be beaten by another One Pair if the rank of the matching cards in the second hand is higher.

What can One Pair beat?

One Pair will beat a High Card poker hand. It will also beat a weaker pair.

Can you win with One Pair?

You can definitely win with One Pair. Since it is the most frequently seen hand in Texas Hold'em, the rank of the pair is very important. A pair of Aces will win against any other One Pair.

Which One Pair is strongest?

The strongest one pair is a pair of Aces. If two players both possess a pair of Aces, then the next highest card in their possession acts as the decisive factor to determine the winner of the pot.