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The One Pair Hand in Poker

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One Pair enters the list of poker hand rankings in eighth place. It is made up just two cards of equal denomination – such as J-J or 10-10.

The word “One Pair” should have you thinking straight away about a single pair in the same denomination or rank. Simply put, it's one pair of equally ranked cards.

For example, if you hold 1010♣, then you would have One Pair of Tens. However, there are other types of One Pair.

Say you hold KQ♠ and the flop is K♣J3♥, you would also have One Pair.

Why?

Because you would have paired your K with the K♣ on the board for one pair of Kings.

You can also have a One Pair by “playing the board” in Hold’em. Say the flop comes down A♣3♦3. You would again have One Pair. However, this time it would be a pair of Threes.

When comparing one One Pair hand to the next, it’s the hand rank or denomination that’s important. Therefore, the best One Pair hand is Aces, the second Kings, the third Queens and so on.

Kickers are a distinguishing factor when players have the same one pair.

We’ll discuss this in the next section.

How Does a One Pair Hand Rank?

In a 52-card deck, there are 1,098,240 possible One Pair hand combinations and 2,860 distinct ranks of One Pair hands. Each One Pair is ranked first by its pair, then by its highest-ranked kicker and so forth.

Here are a few more examples of One Pair hands:

A♠A♣ Q108♠

K♠KA♣J10

A♠AQ♣J10

A♠A♣ QJ♦9♠

KK♣109♣5

Can you tell which Pair ranks highest?

Keep in mind that the suits are irrelevant and that the kickers should be used to separate hands with the same pair.

How Does a One Pair Hand Match Up?

A One Pair is the eighth best possible hand in the poker hand ranking system. Two pair ranks directly above it, with the best Two Pair being Aces and Kings.

There is only one hand that rank below a One Pair. The hand that ranks directly under it is called High Card. The best High Card hand is high-card Ace.

One Pair Poker Probabilities

Now, we’ll look at the pre-flop, flop, turn and river probabilities of making a One Pair hand in both Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha.

Hold'em Probabilities    
Pre-flop: 42.2569% (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck)
Flop: 28.6% (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)
Turn: 12.77% (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)
River: 13.04% (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)
     
Pot Limit Omaha Probabilities    
Pre-flop: 42.2569% (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck)
Flop: 49.95% (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)
Turn: 26.67 (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)
River: 27.27% (from one of your non-paired hole/pocket cards)

Now that you’ve got One Pair down pat, we’ll move on to the next hand on the list. It’s called High Card.

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