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Top Two Pair

What is ‘Top Two Pair’?

Top two pair is the winning two pair hand in a game of poker, if two pair is the highest hand on the board. A player who holds the top two pair has used the two highest cards available on the board to match their pocket cards – the two cards in their hand. The term appears in Hold’Em and other games with community or shared cards.

‘Top Two Pair’ Explained

In poker, the two pair hand is a strong hand that beats any pairs and high cards at the table, and which could also beat all lower two pair hands. While not as strong as triples, quads, straights and flushes, two pair hands still have a good chance of winning the pot if the rest of the table has drawn badly or is hesitant about staying on their own moderate hand.

In Hold’Em poker games, players receive two cards in their hand and during the course of the game, five community cards are revealed. These are shared cards which every player can use to improve their hand. Players must make the best combination of five cards they can from the two in their hand and the five on the board.

‘Top two pair’ is a phrase used to describe when a player’s personal cards – the two in their hand – match the highest two cards on the board. For example, the board shows 3-5-8-K-A and the player’s cards are K-A. This forms a K-K-A-A two pair – which is unbeatable unless another player holds triples (three of a kind) or some higher ranked hand. If the board looks unlikely to help a straight or flush bid and if there are no other pairs on the board, the two pair hand which is highest in value will win the pot.