Poker Two Pair Endangered

In this situation, you’re not going to be nearly as bad off as you were in the last example, but you will be threatened. You have T-J, and you see this flop:

In this scenario, your two opponents can find lots of ways to beat you

For this example, you’re playing against two other poker players holding A-5 and Q-K.


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There would likely have been at least one raise before the flop, but JTs is a good hand in a multi-way pot, so you stay in. Your hand is vulnerable in several ways. Most directly, an Ace gives the Ace-Five hand a better two pair, and another Five gives it trips. This hand also has a backdoor flush draw. The Queen-King has a backdoor flush draw, and a Nine or an Ace gives it the nut straight. Table 10.4 shows the difference if the turn comes with the K as opposed to the 3.

Hold ’Em Hand Results

Hand Percentage of Money Won
Flop (5-T-J) Turn (K) Turn (3)
J-T 46.0% 52.5% 64.4%
A5 4.3% 9.4% 2.4%
Q-K 49.6% 38.1% 33.3%

If the turn makes a straight or a flush, as we’ve discussed before, you would need to hit a 4- out, 10.5:1 shot to make a full house. In this example, you’re either in good shape or pretty good shape. We’ll dispose of the long-shot hand first. The Ace-Five might be under the mistaken impression an Ace will give it a winner, but in reality, it is looking for another Five or runner-runner diamonds to win. The two Aces, by the way, are false outs (cards you believe will win you the hand but will, in fact, make someone else the favorite or outright winner). In order to win, the Ace-Five hand must have another Five or Ace show up on the river. This is, you guessed it, a four-outer. What are the odds on a four-outer? That’s right! 10.5:1.

TIP: You’ve no doubt noticed by now that situations such as four-outers, two-outers, and nine- or eight-outers occur quite frequently. You will soon memorize the odds of these draws coming in. This will speed up your game as well as make it more statistically correct. Don’t forget to multiply the odds by some sort of “BS” factor, though, if you think your opponent is bluffing. Don’t be afraid to raise someone if you believe they’re trying to steal your lunch money.

If the turn is not a diamond, then only one of the two remaining Fives wins the hand.

The Queen-King is in a different situation entirely. It, in fact, has a double draw to a spade flush and the nut straight, which makes it a strong hand to hold, especially if the Ace-Five player decides to put more money in the pot after the turn. If the turn brings the King, any King or Queen will give this hand a winner with a higher two pair than Jacks over Tens. If the Three is on the turn, there is only the double draw to wait for. It could be much worse.


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