How to play low PP (22-88)
The way I play small pocket pairs (22-88) is as follows: Since you have 12% chance of hitting your set or 1/8, it is recommendable to see the flop cheaply (no more than 2x the BB) and if you don't make your set on the flop, then it is important to be able to lay them down when faced to a big bet (2/3 or even 1/2 pot). And when you do make your set, you don't always get paid since your opponent may not have much and fold. So, calling a raise pre-flop should be regarded as an investment which only yields a profit 1 in 8 times. Consequently, the profit must be At Least 8x the investment to make the investment worth while...
Here are some important things to note when calling with small pocket pairs:
- stack sizes
- the effective stack size (the size of the smaller stack when two players are in the pot), and
- P (the value of the effective stack size divided by the cost of a calling a raise pre-flop).
Everyone knows that playing OOP (out of position) is a big disadvantage as opposed to playing IP (in position). With that in mind, when I'm OOP I do the following calculation to determine whether to call or not with my SM pairs pre-flop:
P should be higher than 30 when OOP to justify a call, for example: I have $50 and my opponent has $80 to start. Blinds are 0.50/1. I'm in the BB and my opponent is in the cutoff and raises $3 and everyone folded to me, I'm holding pocket 3s; this is what I do- The effective stack size= $50, Cost of calling= $2, so the value of P is 50/2=25. I'm OOP and need P>30 in order to be a profitable call; however, in this case P=25 thus, I fold. On the other hand, when I'm IP, i need P>15 in order to call... for example: I have $98 and my opponent has $72 to start. Blinds are 0.50/1. I'm in the D button and my opponent in the cutoff. My opponent raises to $4 and I'm holding pocket 8s; Effective stack size= $72, Cost of calling= $4, so P=72/4=18 so P is greater than 15, so in this case, I call.