Poker Hands: One Pair 101

Poker novices are often bombarded with jargons and sophisticated strategies to improve their poker game. However, one such teaching that they are given to improve their basics is not complicated at all, and that, of course, is the lesson on poker hand rankings. Learning about the different poker hand rankings such as the Straight Flush, Full House, One Pair among others gives the player a much-needed understanding about the structure of the game. Essentially, it is these set of cards that help you claim the pot.

Poker is a game of cards where skill and luck are both factors in deciding what happens at the table. Most times, players will not have a direct influence on what goes in their favour. It is only with forming the right poker hand as per the situation by using the combination of cards available that players can upgrade their performance. Therefore, knowledge of these basic poker hands, how to form them, how to use them, their odds, etc., are crucial for poker enthusiasts. Today, the poker hand ranking that we will be covering is the One Pair poker hand which is also often referred to as the Pair.

Significance of the One Pair

Now that we have highlighted the importance of recognizing and playing the right poker hands at the right moment let us take a more in-depth look at what these poker hands are and where does the pair rank among them. Poker hands refer to a five-card combination held by a player that can beat other such combinations at the table to win the showdown and take the prize pool home. Texas Hold’em, the most famous form of poker played is also one of the simplest to understand. This poker variant emphasizes on the ten possible poker hand rankings that can be formed using different card combinations. These include the Royal Flush, the Straight Flush, the Four of a Kind, the Full House, the Flush, the Straight, the Three of a Kind, the Two Pair, the One Pair and the High Card.

Each of these poker hands is better than the one they are mentioned before and therefore, that is the order in which they can be beaten by one and other. Naturally, this puts the Pair in a much lower position than its competitors. A pair is exactly what the name calls for it to be. It is a poker hand ranking wherein the player has two equal-rank cards, for example, J-J-X-X-X. This is a weak hand and is only better than the high card. It generally almost never fares well at the river except for if you are an exceptional bluff master. Even then, the Pair is not a combination you would be delighted to keep.

Illustration to Make and Use the One Pair in a Real Poker Game

As soon as you hear the term pair, you should be able to relate it right away with the idea of holding two cards of the same rank. So, here is an example of how you could make a pair for yourself during a real poker game.

Let's say you are contesting for a game of Texas Hold'em online on Spartan Poker. You end up holding an 8 of Diamonds and an 8 of Spades. This naturally gives you a pair of Eights. However, that is not the only way you could get a pair as there are other possibilities too.

For instance, imagine that you hold a Jack of Clubs and a King of Hearts. Now, the flop comes as Jack of Diamonds, Queen of Spades and a 2 of Clubs. You would once again have yourself a pair card ranking by pairing your Jack of Clubs with the Jack of Diamonds on the board. Texas Hold’em also offers pairs if you play the board. What that means is, sometimes the flop itself could bring out a flop. For example, the flop might roll out with an Ace of Diamonds along with a pair of 4s from Clubs and Spades. This would once again give you a pair.

Basic Rules of One Pair

Knowing the significance and understanding of how it is formed is not enough on its own. Here are a couple of rules for you to bear in mind while opting to play the pair poker hand.

- Suits Don’t Count

It is a common perception for people to assume that suits are relevant in poker. The four suits poker consists of are Diamonds, Clubs, Spades and Hearts. These are merely for representation and they barely ever count. In poker hand rankings such as the Flush and the Royal Flush suits do count as only having cards from the same suit contribute to that particular hand ranking. However, in the case of pairs, suits are irrelevant. Any two cards from any of the four suits that bear the same denomination can be used in forming the Pair.

- Ranking the One Pair

Coming in at the ninth position, the Pair is far from the most favourable card ranking. The Two Pair ranks above it and the High Card ranks below it. The best possible Pair is a pair of Aces. The second-best pair to hold would be that of two kings which subsequently leads to the third-best being Queens and the ranks descend within the pair so on and so forth. If ever they arise a situation when two or more players hold pairs, then the winner is decided by using kickers.

- Strategy to Strengthen your One Pair Game

The standard advice given while playing with pairs is not to aim unreasonably especially when playing with 100 big blind stacks or higher. These hands are typical to be outdrawn with ease. Therefore, your best bet would be only to play small or medium-sized pots. The only exception to this rule would be when playing with top pairs and holding tough kickers and over-pair type hands which might be good enough to compete for big stacks depending on the scenario at the time.

Odds of Making a Pair Hand

1,098,240 possible One Pair combinations can be achieved when playing with the traditional 52-card French Deck. Among these, there are 2,860 unique ranks of such hands. Using the Pre-flop, Flop, Turn and River for our illustration, let us look at the probability to own a pair in each of these rounds.

Pre-flop 42.2569% (On the basis of 5 cards drawn at random from a 52-card deck)

Flop 28.6% (Out of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)

Turn 12.77% (Out of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)

River 13.04% (Out of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)

Despite having one of the weakest hands, you can always hope for a better poker experience by making the best out of your situation, and that is what this game is about. You can go through Spartan Poker and check-out many more of such interesting blogs that will give you a fair idea of poker hands and how to use them.

If you think you have learnt enough, you can always download our official app and play your favourite form of poker anywhere and anytime. Registering in our weekly and monthly poker tournaments will have you stand a chance to win big rewards. All of this awaits you at Spartan Poker.com so join the Spartans and have the best poker experience online.