I was playing Texas Holdem last night with some friends at my house and this was the hand we were dealt:

My cards 7♠ 6♦

His cards 10♠ 7♥

Cards on table 6♠ 8♠ Q♠ J♠ 2♠

Odd hand. Everyone else folded after the flop. Who would have won?

My arguments, 1. Because there is a flush on the table our pocket cards are void and we split the pot. 2. Because the Queen is the highest ♠ card on the table it is shared by both of us so we split the pot. I thought that in a flush the only card that matters is the highest for example if he had a pocket K♠ he would have won.

His argument, was that since his 10♠ is higher then my 7♠ he won and takes it all.

We were all confused and the vote between players was split 50/50 so i said house rules and split the pot. He got pissed and left the table and didn't come back. Was i in the wrong? Any help is appreciated.

  • 3
    Perhaps learning the rules of a game would be better done before playing it for money.
    – Nij
    Sep 1, 2016 at 19:19
  • 2
    I would leave every table where someone over-houserules the official rules to take half of my money - and I probably would never come back.
    – Tobi
    Sep 2, 2016 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


Your opponent won the pot.

The fact that there's a flush on the table isn't relevant to whether or not your pocket cards matter. Each player creates the best 5-card hand that he can out of the total 7 cards (2 pocket cards plus 5 table cards). While it is possible that the best 5-card hand is the 5 table cards, that is not the case here.

The best 5-card hand that you could make was Q♠-J♠-8♠-7♠-6♠, and the best 5-card hand that your opponent could make was Q♠-J♠-10♠-8♠-6♠. Your opponent's resulting 5-card hand was better than yours. You both had a flush, so you look at the highest card you each had. This was a tie, so you look at the second-highest card. Still a tie, so you look at the third-highest. Your opponent's third-highest was an 10, while yours was an 8, so he wins.

  • 1
    They're called kicker cards for a reason.
    – yurisich
    Feb 7, 2016 at 1:17

The higher flush wins the pot. And a Q-J-10-8-6 is better than a Q-J-8-7-6 so your opponent won the pot. It's the same for any other non-flush hand where the highest cards form the tie break. Then you compare the next one and the next until 5 cards are in both hands. Then if both 5 card hands are identical it's a tie.

In this case, your 3rd best card lost to his 3rd best card. He should have won the pot.

  • 15
    @Ethan: You should do better than that; go find your opponent, apologize to him, and pay him the remainder of the pot that you withheld from him. That is the honourable, and proper behaviour. Jan 2, 2015 at 9:05

There are situations where "board plays," in which case it would be a tie. This is not one of those situations.

A "board plays" situation would be something like A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ T♠ (your friend would have to have the 9♠ or 8♠ against your 7♠). That is to say that the board represents the best possible hand. Here, your pocket cards are "void."

The reason "board plays" does not apply is because his T♠ and your 7♠ both improve the board. Therefore, these respective pocket cards are not "void."

Both your holdings replace the 2♠. His hand is, 6♠ 8♠ Q♠ J♠ T♠. Your hand is 6♠ 8♠ Q♠ J♠ 7♠. His hand is better because T♠ beats 7♠ (when you compare the two hands),

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