How to Play Two Card Poker

Two-card poker is a poker variation that you can play with several friends. It is a quick-moving game that allows you to play a number of hands instead of playing the few long, complicated rounds that are associated with other types of poker. The two-card poker game can be used as the only poker variation you play for the night, or you can mix it in with some of your other favorite poker variations for a home poker night.

Organize a night of poker with your friends. With the two-card poker game, you need a minimum of five players to play. A maximum of 10 players can play. The ideal number of players is between six and eight players for two-card poker.

Deal two cards face down to each player and give each player a coin. Allow each player to look at his own playing cards.

Direct each player to declare if she is in the hand or out of the hand. To do this, have each player place her hand on the table covering her coin. If she places the coin face up, she is in the hand. If she places it face down, she is out of the hand. Have all players reveal their coins once each player has placed her hand-covered coin on the table. Any players that decided their hand was not good enough to be in the hand and placed their coins face down now discard their cards into a discard pile in the center of the table and are no longer part of the hand.

Start a wagering round for each player that has declared she is in the hand.

Determine the winner of the hand. Pairs are ranked highest. Two Aces are the highest pair. Other pairs ranking in descending order, based on traditional card rankings, down to the two twos, which are the lowest pair. If no player has a pair, then the player with the highest-ranking card wins the hand. If there is a tie, the second-highest ranking cards are compared. If there is still a tie, the pot is split among the tied players. There are no straights or flushes in two-card poker.

Things You'll Need

  • Playing cards
  • Poker chips
  • Poker table or tabletop
  • Chairs
  • One coin per player


  • This is a game that can be open to a lot of bluffing, as there are only pairs and highest-ranking cards if there is no pair at the table. You can create a rule that says losing players that declared in for the hand have to put in their own chips to match the pot the winner won to start the next hand. This can add to make larger pots and have fewer people declaring in each hand.


  • If you play with the pot-matching rule, you should only declare in if you have at least a King in your hand, and preferably a pair.