What is Two Pair in Poker?

  • Avatar for the CardsChat Editorial TeamWritten by  the CardsChat Editorial Team

A Two Pair hand is a combination of five cards, where two are of the same rank, and another two are of another rank. The fifth card is not important (unless used as a “kicker” – a tiebreaker between two hands with the same two pairs). It is one of the most frequent winning poker hands.

What Does Two Pair Look Like?

As the name suggests, the hand is made out of two pairs. Here are a few examples of Two Pair:

  1. Aicon-suit-spade, Aicon-suit-diamond, Qicon-suit-club, Qicon-suit-diamond, 5icon-suit-heart
  2. Jicon-suit-club, Jicon-suit-heart, 8icon-suit-spade, 8icon-suit-diamond, Aicon-suit-club
  3. 9icon-suit-heart, 9icon-suit-diamond, 5icon-suit-diamond, 5icon-suit-club, Kicon-suit-diamond
  4. 6icon-suit-club, 6icon-suit-heart, 2icon-suit-diamond, 2icon-suit-club, 10icon-suit-club

How Does Two Pair Rank?

Although a Two Pair hand is found in the lower part of the poker hand rankings, it is one of the most frequent combinations for winning in Texas Hold’em. It ranks under Three of a Kind and above One Pair.

What Beats a Two Pair?

RankHand NamesExampleHand Description
1Royal FlushRoyal Flush HandHand Description 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.
2Straight FlushStraight Flush HandHand Description Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
3Four of a KindFour Of A Kind HandHand Description The same card in each of the four suits.
4Full HouseFull House HandHand Description A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
5FlushFlush HandHand Description Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
6StraightStraight HandHand Description Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
7Three of a KindThree Of A Kind HandHand Description Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
8Two PairTwo Pair HandHand Description Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
9One PairOne Pair HandHand Description One pairing of the same card.
10High CardHigh Card HandHand Description No matching cards.

A Two Pair hand is ranked based on the value of the highest pair in the hand. For example, J-J-2-2-5 beats 10-10-9-9-A. In case two or more players have the same high pair, the tie is broken by the rank of the second pair. If this is still a tie, the fifth card (the “kicker”) determines the winning hand.

How Should You Play Two Pair in Hold’em?

A Two Pair is a good opportunity to win some chips if you play it well, but every situation is likely to be different so you need to keep your wits about you.

Two pair is never going to be the best possible hand – also known as “the nuts” – because if anyone has a pocket pair a set is always possible, and Three of a Kind beats Two Pair every time.

However, on many boards Two Pair is likely to be a strong hand, especially if there are no Straight or Flush possibilities. One thing to watch out for is that when you hold two low pairs, you may be vulnerable to the board pairing.

For example, imagine you have 7-5 on a board of 7-5-9-J, and are up against A-A. If a J or a 9 were to fall on the river, you would lose to a higher Two Pair.

Two Pair Probabilities

Two Pair is a hand comes up frequently in Texas Hold’em, and often wins pots. The probability is higher than the cumulative probability of a stronger hand being formed. As a result, Two Pair can be very valuable.

Number of ways to make the hand
(not including different suits)
Number of ways to make the hand
(including different suits)
Odds of getting
Two Pair
Probability of getting Two Pair
858123,5521 / 20.04.7539%

The odds of being dealt Two Pair on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. For more on odds, including the probability of winning any given hand on the flop, turn, and/or river, have a play with our poker odds calculator.


What is Two Pair in poker?

A Two Pair is a five-card combination that includes two pairs. In other words, it has two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and a fifth card of a different rank than the first two. The suits of the cards are not important.

Does a Two Pair beat Three of a Kind?

No, a Two Pair does not beat Three of Kind. A Two Pair only beats One Pair and a High Card.

What beats Two Pairs?

Most poker hand values rank higher than Two Pairs. As a result, the hand in question will lose to Three of a Kind, a Straight, a Flush, a Full House, a Straight Flush and a Royal Flush. You can learn all of the Texas Hold’em poker hands here.

What can a Two Pair beat?

Any Two Pair hand will beat any hand with just One Pair, or with a High Card. Two Pairs can also win against another Two Pair hand if the highest ranked pair is higher.

Can you win with Two Pairs?

Yes, despite its position on the poker hands list, having Two Pairs can be very good in a game of Texas Hold’em. It beats most common hands and the probability of an opponent getting one of the better poker hands is fairly low. Always pay attention to the board, though!

Which Two Pair is strongest?

A pair of Aces and pair of Kings is the strongest Two Pair combination a player can hold in Texas Hold’em. If two players share the same Two Pair, then the highest fifth card (the “kicker”) will be used to determine the winner. If both players share the same fifth card, then the pot is split.

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