Originally Posted by froghump
Should i play them like i do my lower pocket pairs, call in low and try to hit trips, and if i dont then fold unless the flop is all lower than the pocket pair. or should i raise preflop to like 3 or 4 x BB, but there is such a high percentage that a higher card will appear on the flop that will easily scare anyone off.
So how do you play these hands? and we could even trim it down to just 1010 JJ and QQ because 99 is kind of in the middle of being a medium pocket pair.
There are no hard and fast rules. Are you blind versus blind? 6 handed? 9 handed? Early position? Late position? Late position with limpers ahead? In the blinds with limpers ahead? In the blinds facing a late position raise? In the blinds facing an early position raise? Playing a freeroll? Playing with play money? It's not ideal to play these hands the same every time in in every situation.
You have to look at your cards, look at your position, look at the actions ahead of you, look at the players styles behind you, evaluate the strength of your hand relative to any players that have already shown interest. Do you have a card advantage? Do you have a positional advantage? Do you have a skill advantage?
If you open raise 22 from late position and you know that the blinds always call and fold to a flop bet, then do it. If you have a raise in front and you call with 88, you can't always fold when the player bets the flop (well, maybe until you have a feel of why and when not to fold you should fold). If you raise 88 and get called, bet the flop and everyone folds, then keep doing it.
But again, if you're playing play money or only freerolls
then it's a crapshoot as to the best way to play them. Don't play QQ weakly though; it's one of the best preflop hands.