Playing Small Pocket Pairs in Poker

I Small Pairs When playing poker online you will frequently find yourself in tricky situations and how you deal with them will of course have a great impact on your overall result.

In Texas holdem some starting hands can get you into trouble if you play them in the wrong way. But one of the easiest and most straightforward hands to play is small pairs. Pocket pairs below 88 are usually referred to as small pairs.

These pairs should be played with caution, but can be profitable if you handle them the right way. Generally, you want to play them in late position, your aim is to limp in, but you can also call a small raise. The goal when playing a small pocket pair is to flop a set (three of a kind). With a pocket pair your odds to hit a set (or a better hand) on the flop is 7.5-1. If you miss the flop and someone bets you should usually discard the hand. Rarely slow play your sets, only when the board is really unthreatening and you think that your opponents might have missed it completely.

If that is the case you want them to catch up a bit in order to pay off your big hand. But you should usually come out betting. Your opponents will rarely put you on a set and are likely to call you with a top pair, or even better, put in a re-raise. You also want them to pay you off if they are on a draw – a set can easily be outdrawn by a straight or a flush. But make your opponents pay to do so. If you miss your set you should usually give up the pot.

You can bet to try to pick up the pot if the other players check to you, but back down if any of them show strength. Sometimes you can also stay in the pot if you pick up an open ended straight draw. Say you hold 66 and the flop comes 457. It is definitely justified to call here, or even raise. You have a good draw and might have the best hand.

Try to limp in with small pairs, preferably in late position. Always treat them as drawing hands and be prepared to release them if you don’t flop a set. As long as you follow these easy steps, small pairs can definitely be a profitable hand to play both online and in your local poker room.