I’ve seen this fairly often, although it is definitely an uncommon occurrence.
I’ll hit top pair on the flop with a good kicker. Say Q9, pairing the Q. Someone else hits the Q as well, but with a junk rag kicker, say Q3. On the way to the river, the board pairs, now we have two pair. And say now an Ace comes, so now we have two pair Queens and something, Ace kicker, and chop the pot.
It happens sometimes that the board gives both players a better kicker than the one in either player’s hands.
Statistically speaking, the board should pair a little less than half of the time by the river.Having noticed this, I’ve started thinking about holding onto weak top pair hands, and see if the board pairs with a high enough kicker to improve the one in my hand and guarantee at least a split.
It has happened on accident a few times and saved me, and it’s happened to me a few times where I had someone beat and they ended up sucking out to a chop. Of course, I’ve also seen plenty of hands where the weaker player’s hand pairs their bottom card, while the player with the better kicker doesn’t pair, and either their’s no board pair for both players, or the weaker kicker-turned-pair is stronger than the board pair.
What’s the conventional wisdom about this? I don’t read much at all about this type of situation. It is a somewhat uncommon situation, but it does happen enough that I’ve noticed it. Having noticed it, I’d like to see some good analysis of how these hands play, and get a better understanding of the odds.