Am I playing my pocket pairs correctly?

L

Liveone1

Rock Star
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Total posts
190
It seems that I am, but I need to know if I'm just getting lucky.

I raise the pot pre-flop to x4 the BB no matter what pocket pair I hold except for deuces and 3's. I don't know why, but I don't like those pair lol.

My logic? I figure I get all the limpers out of the way, and most of the competition who will call me will be holding high cards J(maybe 10)-A. Don't have to worry about K,8- J,7, etc. that would make my lower end pairs useless. If the board flops high cards, I'll just have to see how the players play the hand.

Not only that, but if I flop a set, and they flop their top pair/2 pair, theres a pretty good chance I will get plenty of money out of them. Since I'm weak (explained later), they will think I missed my flop if I check/ possibly min raise and feel pretty confident with their top/two pair.

Another part to this strategy is I enter the game at a very low buy in, and show premium hands (really is all I'm playing besides the prems). So, the players know I'm very tight and probably think I'm weak. When I'm playing these low pairs, I'm pretty sure I get people to throw away low pairs they have, especially if they miss their set on the flop, and there are high cards on the board. They'll assume I have a higher pair if I bet.

I tried this out just now and it was actually by mistake. I was trying to enter a .02BB game but I ended up in a .10BB game and bought in with $2. I decided to stick around and grind it out, and in only 30 minutes, I made $7 at the $0.10BB.I also made $1.50 at on .02BB game and $1 at another (MTTing 3 games) with this strategy.

Only difference between the .10BB and .02BB games was that I entered the other two .02BB games at the proper amount of $2, but I still got payed off very nicely.

In the .10BB game I also intentionally played a little weak on a hand or two (after I had made some $$$). This way, I figured that they would fear my raises, and I'd get to steal a couple pots if I missed the flop. It worked. Its also great if you play this way and start to catch cards because people will call you in disbelief that your getting hands, flopping sets, etc. They will assume your using your tight style to steal pots. They'd be right, but have horrible timing.

I know that at higher levels I'll need to work out some things, but Ill cross that bridge when I get there.

I'm sure this is nothing new, but Id like to know if I'm playing my pairs correctly, and how it fits together with this strategy. If the strategy is poor, but I'm playing correctly or vis versa, I'd like to know that too.

Thanks.
 
odinscott

odinscott

Legend
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Total posts
1,054
Set mine with these unless you are in position. Otherwise get the hell away from these (88 or lower) after the flop if you miss. Bigger pairs and in position you can follow through a bit longer.
 
rickygop

rickygop

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Total posts
18
to each its own.

i'm a very intuitive player and i normally don't play small pairs but when i do i like to play them like i have a-k pre-flop and i'll play them like i have a-k on the flop only if there is no ace or king or if i dont hit my set. when i hit my set and there is an ace or king on the board i play my set like i have a-k. gl at the felts all. hope you didnt find what i wrote to be confusing.
 
L

Liveone1

Rock Star
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Total posts
190
I've read everywhere that it's as you say, 88 and lower should be avoided unless your in position. The only reason I can see for this is people still may limp in with A,8-10, K, 8-10...maybe Q, 8-10. Other than that though, assuming I know the table well enough not to have to worry about that, shouldn't my lower pairs be just as good as 8's? If not is it because theres a possibility that someone is playing a higher pair?

Also, I can't understand why odds calculators give less of an edge to pairs lower than 8 when I input going up against A,k - A,Q, - K,Q etc. It's like the A's and K's have a higher chance of coming up when you play low pairs and thats not true. What am I overlooking?

I agree with the advise you both gave me, and I understand it, I just really want to understand it. Understand? lol
 
odinscott

odinscott

Legend
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Total posts
1,054
I've read everywhere that it's as you say, 88 and lower should be avoided unless your in position. The only reason I can see for this is people still may limp in with A,8-10, K, 8-10...maybe Q, 8-10. Other than that though, assuming I know the table well enough not to have to worry about that, shouldn't my lower pairs be just as good as 8's? If not is it because theres a possibility that someone is playing a higher pair?

Also, I can't understand why odds calculators give less of an edge to pairs lower than 8 when I input going up against A,k - A,Q, - K,Q etc. It's like the A's and K's have a higher chance of coming up when you play low pairs and thats not true. What am I overlooking?

I agree with the advise you both gave me, and I understand it, I just really want to understand it. Understand? lol

It really only depends on what hits the board. When playing small (< 99) pocket pairs, you are fighting against not only what hits the board, but also that the other players dont have a higher pair already. This is where position is super important as well.
It depends alot on whether I am playing ring games or tourney as well. In ring games where I play alot more than one table, I usually limp oop, and try to hit the set. I may be a slight bit more aggressive on the button. If the board is all facecards, my smallish pps go in the muck. I have enough tables open, that I am sure to have a better hand out there at that point, than to play with fire with a smallish pair.
 
mr_president21

mr_president21

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Total posts
88
i usually just call with anything lower than nines. (unless in position)
i play low pocket pairs conservative.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

Legend
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Total posts
22,973
I don't mind raising with most pp in any position if I'm 1st to enter, but if I miss the flop I'm generally done with the hand if a couple of overs flop. Making continuation bets with 2 overs to your pair is a good recipe to lose $$
 
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