Who Wins if Two Players Have the Same Hand in Poker?


Who Wins if Two Players Have the Same Hand in Poker?


A female poker player at a Texas Hold’em table holds up two Ace playing cards.

Who Wins if Two Players Have the Same Hand in Poker?


Four stacks of poker chips on each side of four playing cards, all on a green felt poker table.

While some may argue that poker is won with huge helpings of luck, experienced gamblers know that to succeed, players must be able to read their opponents, dissect the community cards, and make the best possible use of poker strategies. 

But what happens if you do everything right, make it to the final round, reveal your winning hand… and an opponent reveals the exact same hand? Whether you play in-person or online poker, a poker tie is possible. So, how is the ultimate winner decided? Read on to find out.

Can You Tie in Poker?

Poker ties are uncommon but can occur every now and then. For instance, if the community cards are 7-9-2-jack-ace, and players 1 and 2 are holding 8-10, they have the same hand ranking — a straight. In this case, the chips would be evenly distributed between the two players, otherwise known as a split pot.

Out of all the poker hand rankings, a split pot in poker usually happens from a straight, but only some of the time. Usually, the worst beats, during either an in-person or online poker game, happen when a player holds a strong hand but not the highest card. A common theme among novices is that once they notice their hand’s strength, they’ll make a series of large bets without dissecting the possibilities of a better hand or higher-value card. 

Take a look at an example of a flush, the usual suspect for high-card wins. Player 1 holds 5♥ J♥, player 2 has 10♥K♥, and the community cards produce a 2♥4♥9♥. Although both hands activate the flush, the rules in all poker variations state that the five strongest cards are used to declare the winner. In this instance, player 2 would win because they held the king — the highest card of the round.

In poker, which hand wins is most often a two-pair. With five community cards appearing each round, a two-pair is one of the most common hands, so it’s not unusual for more than one player to hold it during the same round. A two-pair showdown is a fairly common Texas Hold’em tiebreaker situation.

So, who wins if two players each hold a two-pair? Like every other hand ranking, it’s the player holding the strongest five-card combination. For instance, if the dealer presented a 7-4-9-jack-king, and player 1 held a king-7 and player 2 a 4-9, the former would win because of the king-high card.

Two female poker players sit at a dark green table and get ready to place their bets.

Play the Best Game Possible

If you asked an experienced player how best to play a strong hand, most would tell you to dissect the number of opponents still active and the texture of the board and avoid putting your bankroll at risk. 

It’s also crucial to understand the playing personalities of active opponents so that you can decipher whether they’re bluffing or not. If you’re holding a jack-high straight and two players are still active, there’s a chance you can lose out to a higher card (queen, king, ace.) Being able to read your opponents correctly will help you decide your next move. 

For example, if the two players have been folding most rounds, it suggests that they only bet when holding strong cards, meaning there’s a good chance they, too, are holding a strong straight. Remember, winning requires taking calculated risks, so even when you aren’t holding the highest card, sometimes it’s worth going for. But, if it doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. 

Knowing when to fold strong poker hands is essential to any professional player’s game. Otherwise, they risk their bankroll being wiped by a poker high card. While it may be tempting to play aggressively when holding a strong hand, such as a straight, you’ll never win every time you’re holding a solid hand, so sometimes the best bet is a fold. 

Do the Rules Vary Between the Different Poker Variations?

While the same tiebreaker rules apply to Texas Hold ’em, reverse Texas Hold ’em, and 7-card stud, it’s somewhat different in Omaha poker

In a game of Omaha poker, players are required to use two of their four hole cards and three community cards, whereas, in the other two formats, players can use any combination of hole and community cards to make the strongest possible five-card hand. So, while Omaha incorporates the same tiebreaker rules, identifying the winner can take a bit longer.

A female poker player holds up two Ace playing cards with one hands while removing chips from her stack with the other to place a bet.

Play Poker at Borgata Online

Want to play poker online? A great place to practice and perfect strategy, Borgata Online offers an extensive range of poker variations, from Texas Hold ’em online to Omaha and 7-card stud. Register today and test your skills. 

Outside of poker, enjoy 24/7 access to various online casino games, including slots, bingo, roulette, and blackjack.