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Split Two Pair

What is ‘Split Two Pair’?

A ‘split two pair’ is a poker hand which appears in community card poker games such as Hold’Em. It refers to a ‘two pair’ (four cards comprised of two sets of matching values) that is held in part by the player and in part by the board. In a split two pair, neither the board or the player holds a full pair but has one of each element for the two sets.

‘Split Two Pair’ Explained

In many forms of poker and most usually in Hold’Em poker, the player receives a small number of cards to their personal hand and shares a set of cards with the rest of the table. Often, the player has two cards in their hand and there are five ‘on the board’, or open to all players. This makes seven available cards with which to build the best hand. Players assemble the best five-card set based on these cards and bet according to the strength of their hand.

A great hand to hold is the ‘two pair’, which beats any high card and pair hand. High valued two pair hands also beat lower two pairs – for example, 10-10-J-J is beaten by K-K-Q-Q but it beats 9-9-10-10. Often, players use the same cards on the board to make their hand, especially where the board turns up a good hand. For example, on a board of 3-3-4-4-9, the player already has a two pair and if they hold a 4 or a 3, they have a full house – but someone else might have the same or better.

If a player says that they have a ‘split two pair’ or that they won with this hand, they mean that they made a two pair hand from cards in their hand and from the board. Neither the player or the board has the pair – they each share one of each element. In the hand 7-7-8-8, both the player and the board hold 7-8 in order for it to be called a ‘split two pair’.