Flop two pair and die every time

What can you do with two pair on the flop besides fold it immediately like the garbage that it is?

Ways you get beat all day long, the percentages of these add up to over 100% so clearly you should never ever play two pair.

  • The 3rd card that you’re not blocking is always a set.
  • The two pair you have gave someone else a straight or a straight draw
  • The flop might be 2-suited in which case chances of of flushes are 100%
  • Your opponent has an overpair, so when the board pairs to give you 3 pair, they now have better two pair, or make their set.

I win more pots and more chips with middle pair than I ever will with two pair. Doesn’t matter: top and bottom, top two, bottom middle, they’re all total losers.

Rivering two pair or turning two pair, much better. But flopping, it’s utter garbage on this site. You can be 76+% to win on the flop and lose 100% of the river.

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I love how you provide these poker statistics. Is 100% accurate or should it be 98% or 95.5%?

Maybe you need to learn to fold on boards that have you destroyed?

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  • It’s not uncommon for a board to flop two-suited, but it doesn’t mean that you’re up against a flush every time.
  • When you’re playing a gapped hand I suppose you do run up against more straight draws.
  • I don’t know how you’re supposed to read a set on the board. You only know when they raise your hand, but top pair will often raise you too and be crushed (but still suck out anyway, pairing better kicker if you have the top pair also, or the board will pair giving you a two pair under two pair).
  • The board running out with three pair for you, trips/boat for them can’t be seen on the flop.

Despite having 4 outs to the boat, you’ll watch them run out backdoor draws or hit 2-outers to trips far more often.

If you’re always running into better hands when you hit two-pair, it either means you taking two-pair too far on 3 card flush boards or connected boards or you don’t bluff enough so whenever you bet big, you opponent folds their pairs.

Sometimes, on dry disconnected boards, if you bluff enough, you can force your opponent to call down their 100bb entire stack in a single raised pot or risk being overrun by bluffs.

I can believe it, but why does it happen again and again, 10/10 times? Why is V always suited in favor of the board when I flop two pair? Why is V always one rank off my two cards, such that my making two pair gives them a flush draw?

I can appreciate that hand selection has something to do with it. If I’m not playing a lot with disconnected hole cards, like junk Aces and Kings, when I do hit two pair with connectors, it’s a board that has straight possibility, so straights are more likely.

From there we just need to explain the bizarre phenomenon whereby V always has the mother-loving nut draw, and sees it fill on the river.


I flopped two pairs here, and look what happened. The win that should have been applied to Puggywug’s account was applied to mine.

At least you can take consolation from the fact that every time you lose a pot, one of us wins! Is there some possibility that we could arrange to play for real money? I will split my winnings with you.

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@puggywug Perhaps you are looking at absolute hand strengths instead of relative hand strengths? On some boards, 2 pair is the effective nuts. On some boards its not even a decent bluff catcher. You might need some range work and tweaks to your bet sizes and frequencies unless this is just pure variance.

@MekonKing - lol. A great example of confusing hand strengths in a multiway pot, though to be fair, SPR was so low in a limped pot that its probably a call with the baby flush (not a lead though). WTF is going on in these games? I looked at the 5M MTT from this past Sunday evening and it appears that people are trying to find the worst/most inefficient lines humanly possible. In another post you said that all these players know each other well. So, this might be a case of exploitative play gone so far that it now resembles a bowl of spaghetti. Whatever the cause or reason, I hope you don’t fall into bad habits because of it. Things that work against this type of play should be boxed off in a corner of your brain, only to be accessed when facing exactly these players.

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Right; I guess the way to rephrase my question is “Why is the board always super unfavorable to flopped two pair by the river when I am holding the flopped two pair, and why is the board always perfect to my opponent?”

Like, I get that two pair can be quite strong on an unpaired, disconnected, rainbow board. That’s what I see with two pair about 1% of the time, and almost always when it is not a flopped two pair.

Flopped two pair is a unmitigated disaster for me every time I see it. In every case I’ve played it, or watched a hand play out when I would have flopped two pair had I not folded preflop, in every single case the winning hand was stronger than two pair.

Perhaps I see paired and suited and connected boards more than average over the last, say, week, and this is what is meant by “variance”, and looking at it over a longer period of time it balances out. Still, one would think that in at least a few of these hands, the board could be super wet to a hand that folded preflop and regrets it, or to no one’s hand. Yet, there’s always someone holding the nuts for me to give my stack to.

It’s gotten so that the only time I would not immediately fold flopped two pair to no pressure is if I have top two, and the top pair is Aces. Everything else is garbage; a mirage; a cooler for me to go broke with and bust out of tournaments with. Even if I shove it, it just invites drawing hands to rise to the challenge, call, and immediately fill on the next street, because the shove button seems to stack the deck in V’s favor when I use it.

Maybe one day the site will facilitate a hand-grabber so that players could export hands to something like Poker Tracker? If we could see large hand samples, then it would be possible to get to the heart of the issue with some degree of accuracy. Until then, its small-sample speculation and best-guesses. Just remember that if you get a lot of action with 2 pair on a wet board, you may be crushed. The worst you should be against is a pair + good draw or overcards with a gutshot and flush draw Throw sets and made nutted hands into the mix and 2-pair hands become very vulnerable. If pots are multiway, then those 2 pair hands are mostly going to be checked on the flop as well, to limit the size of the pot.

You seem to be winning at a nice rate here. Don’t let a bad streak get to you. When people do analyze their own play, they look at thousands of hands, at a minimum. 10 or 20 turbo SnG’s will take a few hundred hands at most. Feels bad to run bad but probably doesn’t mean much other than that.


I finally had a decent two pair hand.

4-seat ring, 1k/2k. I had just seated the hand prior, so no history at all at this table.

KTo, UTG opens to 2BB, whole table sees the flop, I flop top two, KKTT2. The player in front of me bets 2x pot. I’m done messing around with two pair, I just throw it all in for 398k. I’m fully expecting to get called and have it run out a flush, and V does call but only has K4, no heart, and I get his whole stack. Unfortunately it’s not a full 400BB stack, but it offsets a day of utter futility.

…I have no idea why you call there, I guess maybe that’s just how wild ring tables will get when a new unknown player seats?

Does it happen very often that when you’re seated at a table, frequently you get a bozo who shows up out of nowhere, shoves the first hand no matter what it is, and is then an annoying bingo-player thereafter, and the way players have adapted to that is calling super-wide?

I see the loser of that hand now has just 2500 chips in their bankroll, so maybe it’s just a terrible call that an inexperienced player is apt to make with free chips…

I love that idea. A lot of players buy chips & many put money in the Tip Jar. I personally will never do either but I would love to $$$ support $$$ the site if I could use a paid VIP service to track statistics & hands on RP accurately!!!

I think it would be very interesting to see how lucky/unlucky players actual are. I’ve heard online poker commentary about players being down a fair bit but they should be up because most of the decisions they made were +EV but they ran really bad, & hit cold decks.

Most poker players are not great at being subjective and realistically analysing how they run. I watched Mike Matusow recently on a cash game series I had never seen before. He got unlucky in some massive hands & pots. He always reacts the same way every time I see him play & lose. Its exactly the same interview after each session he losses. Reminds me a lot of Pug. The two unluckiest guys alive to ever play poker. with the loudest voices to let everyone know just how badly they run…

Poker is apathetic and not sympathetic. We can play great for hours, over a hundred hands, make a good profit and lose it all in 2 or 3 hands of bad luck. That’s sometimes all it takes to swing a session - 1 or 2 hands. Poker is often brutal like that.

Some kind of hand-grabber and Poker Tracker so that players can stop accusing the poker gods of stopping short and end this conspiracy of ridiculousness…

brush it

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Lol. I just picked off a player playing above his bankroll, and he was the nittiest nit I’ve played in a long time. Early on, he was willing to battle, but I had hot hands and got 1600 chips in the 6th hand on top two pair. After that, he completely nitted up for about 40 hands. Folded to most raises, folded to any bet. For like 40 hands. I thought about opening my range and exploiting this, and maybe I did a time or two, but I was also hitting pairs a lot.

Eventually he bleeds down to around 1500 chips, and expands his arsenal with random shoves. I never have anything on these hands so it’s nothing to dump them, let him win his 1.5BB. He’s not doing it enough to make up for all the folding he’s doing, so whatever. He’s doing it seldom enough to give him credit for probably having something. I’m not interested in coin flipping for a million against a player with this level of skill. Not with my luck.

Around the time blinds reach 50/100, suddenly his style changes again. He raises every pot to 2BB now, and I am in the midst of a cold streak of 64, 42, 53, 92. A time or two I get a straight draw, miss, and am too weak to try bluffing this new personality.

So he gets back up to 2200, but then my cold streak ends, I get some hands I can raise with, and as soon as I do, he goes right back to folding like a nit.

I figure, ok, limp then and see if can get him to build a pot. Any time I limp, he raises, either all in or more than I’m comfortable calling with on those particular cards.

Eventually, get him to call a 2BB raise, I’m holding A6o, and he calls, and I flop middle pair on an 863 board with two hearts. I figure he folds a lot, and probably has nothing here, so I bet and he calls again.

Figuring that this is a bad idea, but really not wanting to lose this pot, I bet his exact stack on the turn, figuring he’d surely fold, and he snap-calls, flipping up pocket 55s, and misses the board, my 66s hold up, and I win the game. What a nerve wracking way to win 2M. If the top card on the flop had been a 7 instead of a 8, it would have been a straight for him and he would double back up, take the big stack, I’d have blown another game making a stupidly risky play. But if I only won the usual 1.5BB there, probably I’m still playing him 120 hands later.

LOL so that game was almost half his bankroll.

I do get lucky sometimes.

That’s enough poker for one day.

I never get lucky, but sometimes I flop 2 pair, then go runner runner to a one card Royal…

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Here’s a classic two pair bad beat.

I’m in a 3-Max game where I started out blazing hot, hitting everything, and KO the first opponent and have a big stack. I have the other opponent down to his last 500 or so chips when he plays AK against my KQ, I flop a gutshot to Broadway, he shoves, having hit top pair, and it’s not big enough for me to worry about folding it, so I call, miss, lose, and now he’s over me.

A few junky hands later, I’m down to around 1000 chips and am dealt J3o, which I limp. Flop is 952, I have nothing at all here, and, feeling disheartened, I decide to just give up on the game, give him the chips, and start over again at another table where the same story will repeat itself, and I’ll beat the table down to their last couple hundred, they’ll make a hand and come back on me, etc.

So I shove, and he sits a long time before calling. He’s holding 95s, so has flopped top and middle two pair, should be as strong a hand as you need to stand up.

Well, the board runs out 2, J. The Turn deuce pairs the board, not helping V at all, and the J gives me top pair, making a better two pair.

This is the sort of hand that happens to me all the time. He’s 93% to win on the Turn, a loser on the river. When I say “all the time” I mean a good once per SNG tournament when I’m running bad, which is all you need to turn a very solid winning record in SNG into a bunch of mediocre finishes.

This hand is a terrible misplay by me, and the only reason I did it was because I was giving up and didn’t care about the game anymore. I’m sure if he’s still playing the hand seriously, he’s wondering what I could be shoving with that beats him here: 99, 55, well he’s blocking both of those, making them less likely. 22? 52? 43 for a straight draw?
AA? Two hearts?

Should you lay down when someone shoves at you when you’re holding a weak top two pair? I think sometimes, maybe yeah you can, but you’d have to suspect your opponent was ahead of you with a straight or a set to do it, or on a flush flop. This was a pretty safe call, and still went bad for him.

Speaking of flopped pairs…Has anyone else noticed the overabundance of them on this site? Every tourny I play, I see 12 or more. And the most in a row, I have seen has been 7. Doesn’t do any good to explain or complain. I just get the brush off. This site has the best set up online, but the worst realistic dealing.

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I’ve noticed the same thing with flopped straights. I seem to lose with them a lot more than I’d expect, especially if I slow play the hand.


Yes, straights on a paired or suited board can be a dangerous thing to hold.

I also see an abundance of flops with pairs, and suited flops. Virtually every time my hole cards are suited, the board comes suited on the flop for a different suit. It makes it very hard to play weaker hands with any confidence. I don’t know that it’s defying probability, but it’d be nice to have the benefit of it, by flopping trips and flushes more often. Somehow that hardly ever seems to happen.

This is an old thread but I was going to make a similar one and googled “two pair on flop always loses on Replay” and found this. OP is absolutely right. My two pair on the flop loses 90%+ of the time. I should just check it down wait for them to bet big and fold, or just fold them when I see them on the flop. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

I can’t remember the last time my two pair on the flop held up even. Just now I had 7 9 on the big blind in a tournament. I push all in (finally have learned my lesson NOT to do this on replay you will lose every all in this way) caller has Ace 7 turn card of course is an Ace. It’s always the turn card so that’s a pattern.

Don’t give me the excuse that I had bad cards and they just aren’t meant to hold up my opponent was down to 3 outs because there was 3 Aces left in the deck (if this was a real deck which it isn’t) so 3 outs out of 52 = 5.7% chance of opponent hitting their Ace. Is 5.7% good odds? No it’s not.

I see puggywug would complain a lot yet get shot down and I have seen a few others he smartened up and hasn’t played in 9 months according to his profile. I should do the same but I can’t quit.

To me all in hands seem very unfair in the first place. I almost always lose them it doesn’t matter if my opponent has better cards or worse at the time of the all in. If my opponents were rivering me but I was rivering them just as much I’d say ok but I don’t remember having a worse hand and beating them on the river or turn I always lose if I have the worse hand and usually lose with the best hand.

I’m sure everything I’m saying will be disregarded because I don’t have a million hands played to prove it or whatever but I can only give my view of what I’m seeing is going on over and over. I have also watched other people play and usually the hand that goes all in first and has the worst hand going in ends up winning.


for what its worth, I believe you. yes you’ll get shot down as I have as well.

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