This is a discussion on Small pair within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; How do you play small pairs, 88 and lower, in a tournament? When no one raises I usually call. Big raise I usually fold.
Very important question, that needs a very long answer.
As I consider limping to be a very bad thing to do in any MTT, it leaves the options to Fold or Bet pre-flop.
From early positions (UTG - UTG+2) I would say that folding smaller pocket pairs is fine. I draw my line between 77 and 88, so basically 77 is a fold, 88 is a bet pre-flop.
Mid positions, pretty much the same thing, only I tend to add 66 and 77 to my betting range.
Late position, especially BU (Button) I tend to bet with any pocket pair, even deuces.
This is just a rough explanation, but it depends a lot on my stack size (sometimes I will fold more, while sometimes I would shove any pocket pair from any position).
I like the first response, from Bozovicdj but I assume he was referring to his strategy if everyone else had folded to him. Facing a raise I of course consider all the other factors like stack sizes, player tendencies and so on but just isolating on the fact I have a pair I tend to fold 55 or worse to a large raise but I will call with any pair to a :standard" raise.
With a small pocket pair, I try to limp, and try as cheap as possible to see the flop. I can also call a standard raise if I play in a position or call the opponent's raise; if there is a 3-bet, then fold. If the stack is short, then it is possible to put all-in from any position.
Small pairs (2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7) tend to be the best hand before the flop, but once it reaches the flop its value increases or decreases significantly: if you connect a set you are favorite to win and if you don't connect you will have to make a bluff to try to win the hand.!
The strength of the pairs boys strongly depends on the sizes of the stacks. If the stacks are deep have the odd simplicistas they need to try to connect a set. But if the table contains media small stacks pairs become difficult to play, as they do not have the odds implied necessary and played pre-flop would be too with that pile of chips.
One advantage that possess the pairs guys is that extend of ranges with which to play pre-flop without bumping into difficult decisions post-flop. In this way you will become less predictable and you will know if you have a strong hand after the flop.
It depends on the number of opponents in the hand and also my position and raises. 22 is a pretty good ev against AK. In heads up, you can make a good raise in position. On a re-raise can be reset. If the tournament early stage even being in the position of a pair of 55 usually is reset.