Ties in Texas Hold 'Em

What happens if the five community cards in a round of Texas Hold "Em are the best hand on the table. Let’s say that the five community cards are a 8 through Queen straight and my hole cards are a three and a six and my opponent has a duece and a four. Does the fact that my “high” six beats his four mean anything when our hands aren’t using those cards? And if it does matter, what would happen if we both had a three and a six?

You make the best hand of five cards you can, the rest are irrelevant. You split the pot. If the five up cards make the best hand for everyone, everyone left at the showdown splits the pot.

As flight said, it’s always the best five cards from your hand and the board that matters. A couple more examples:

3-6 vs A-K, board is 7-8-9-10-J (no flushes anywhere):
result: both have J-high straight, tie

3-6 vs Q-2, board is 7-8-9-10-J (no flushes)
3-6 has a J-high straight, but Q-2 has a Q-high straight and wins.

3-6 vs K-2, board is 9-9-9-J-A (no flushes)
3-6 has trip nines, A-J kicker, but A2 wins with trip 9’s, A-K kicker.

3-6 vs J-10, board is K-K-K-A-Q (no flushes)
both have trip K’s, A-Q kicker and tie.

Here’s a bad one:

22 vs 3-4

Board: 2 7 7 7 7

What started out as a monster hand with a full house ended up with four 7s and a two kicker. The 3-4 wins.

Player 2 has an ace-high straight. That beats Player 1’s trips.

I saw one of these hands last week. AA vs. KK. Flop came A-K-J. Both players went all-in. The turn card was a Q and a T came on the river. They split the pot, much to the second player’s relief.

Ouch! That’s about a bad a beat as you can get. PLEASE tell me this isn’t from personal experience! I’ll have nightmares… :eek:

And what on earth was that 34 sticking around for? Betting on 2 cards on the inside to give him the LOW straight?


Maybe he was bluffing.

But seriously, folks … why is Texas Hold 'Em the only form of poker I see any more? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned draw poker, or 5 card stud, or – my dad’s personal favorite – “7 card stud, hole cards wild and all like 'em”?

No, ElectricZ, that didn’t happen to me. But if you feel like shuddering some more, check this site out: http://www.riveredagain.com/
Tracer, probably the reason hold 'em is so popular is twofold. First, it’s so disceptively simple. How difficult is it to learn that you get 2 cards, there are 5 community cards, and the best hand wins? The strategy takes much longer to learn, but teaching the game is just about that long.
Secondly, unlike stud, you get to easily see what cards would have come out for your hand, so players can say “whew, made the right move,” or “damn, I folded the winner!”

With these two reasons (among others), you continually get a steady influx of newer players and newer players keep the game running for the older ones.

The World Series of Poker on ESPN this year is covering other events besides hold 'em. So far they’ve covered that I’ve seen 7 card stud and Omaha and there are several weeks of coverage remaining. They showed a couple of minutes of blind man’s bluff too, which was pretty amusing.

Another reason for Hold 'Em: you can put more players at a table, for tournaments or otherwise, than a game like seven card stud. Only 2x + 9 cards in play at any time, where x is the number of players. Five cards for the flop and four cards are “burned” (I think it’s four). Which also adds to the intrigue of what’s still hiding in the deck.

I like the Pot Limit Omaha game I saw on ESPN, that looks like a fun game.

And now, a question. If an opponent and I both have an Ace high flush (impossible in Hold Em, but possible in other games), do you go to the second highest card to determine the winner, or is it a tie?

It is possible in hold’em if the ace is on the board.

Yes, you do compare the second-highest card (and the third, and the fourth if necessary). If all five cards in each player’s flush are the same rank then they split the pot. This could happen in hold’em, but only if the board plays.


**'doh! ** I kept changing things around and missed that at the end.
I mean, uh, I was bluffing! That’s it! Just seeing if anyone would catch it… yeah.

Just pretend it was 3-6 versus 9-10 on a board of K-K-K-A-Q
NOW, they split the pot.

This is a slight hijack, but I have a technical question. I believe it’s been answered, but I just want to be sure–am I correct in thinking that a player can make the best hand possible out of all seven cards–and that he doesn’t have to include his hole cards as part of the hand? This caused something of a family argument the last time we tried to play. :slight_smile: Thanks!

Correct, you can use any of the 7 that you want. You don’t have to use any of your hole cards if you don’t want to.

In Omaha, you must use 2 cards, and only 2 cards from your hand for play.

In Texas, you can use two, one or no cards from your hand.

The only way two players could have a flush of equal rank is if the flush is on the board. There is no way that two players could use a hole card to make a flush of equal strength since there is no way each player can have a hole card of the same rank and suit. Example, if the board is A-K-J-6 heart and player one has the 5H and player two has the 4H player one is in the lead. The only way they can split the pot with a flush at this point is if the river is another heart higher than the 5.

There is also no way in hold 'em for players to have flushes of different suits. To make a flush at least three of the board cards must be the same suit, which means there can be no more than two cards of another suit which, even if a player has two of that suit in the pocket, means he only has four to the flush.

Recently I was playing at PartyPoker and the nuts was the hand on the board. When betting got to the last player he went all in. So did everyone else in the hand and we split the pot. One of the “perfect” players criticised him for “slowing up play”. I said I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it “someone inattentive may have folded”. He replied that 2 days before he and another player had raised the winning hand on the boards and the other 2 players had folded. They proceeded to openly laugh at them.

Aren’t the burned cards kept face-down? If that’s the case, then there’s no logical way to say they’re “in play”. Assuming that you’re not playing with marked cards or a stacked deck, it doesn’t matter at all how many cards or which ones are burned. Burned cards might as well have been left in the deck.

Yes, that is what “the board plays” means.