How often are you 3-betting 22 - 77?

Noroma

Noroma

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The intuitive thought is that you want to be calling with your lower pocket pairs, since you want to see flops as cheaply as possible. But if you are always calling, and never 3-betting this would tell someone a lot about your 3betting range.

Is it correct to assume that always calling in Position with lower pocket pairs, and then defending with a mix of calls and 3bets in the blinds is a better tactic than always calling / folding?
 
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fundiver199

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Maybe if you are playing high stakes games, you need to consider having an extreme degree of balance and board coverage on any board. But other than that I dont see much benefit in 3-betting small pairs in cash games. They have bad removal, they play poorly with a low SPR, and you can typically not call a 4-bet.

Its different in tournaments, where a 3-bet can sometimes be a jam, if the effective stack is 20-25BB or less. Then 3-betting 22-77 gives you fold equity and makes sure, you get to realise your equity when called. So especially in a late position confrontation, where people are expected to open wide, 3-bet jamming 22-77 can often be the best strategy.
 
Noroma

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I agree, and that has been what I've been doing, but I was considering if I was losing money doing it. But it does seem like the best option in low stakes. I guess pockets are also pretty easy to play out of position, although I should probably be folding them some times.
 
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Hermus

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Almost never. If you're playing cash with a reasonably large stack the correct play is almost always to fold these hands to an open raise. Calling behind should only be considered late position with weak players in the blinds, or in the big blind when closing the action.
 
Noroma

Noroma

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Almost never. If you're playing cash with a reasonably large stack the correct play is almost always to fold these hands to an open raise. Calling behind should only be considered late position with weak players in the blinds, or in the big blind when closing the action.
So set mining becomes something that only happen when you open and someone calls, or if you defend as BB? Isn’t that kinda nitty for pocket sixes and sevens? I kinda get it for 22 - 55 against some strong raises, but you have to see flops with these cards, at least in 6-max max right?


Edit: Read what you wrote again, and it makes sense. Against stronger players in the blinds you will face less calls and more squeezes which we cannot call. So pockets are supposed to be part of your opening range, and defend range, and against weaker players where we A) face less reraises in late position and b) they pay us off more often than stronger players
 
Zapahlohotrona

Zapahlohotrona

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77 I can and 3 bet against an opponent with a high fold to 3 bet. 22 is a fold, sometimes I limp.
 
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kioge

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66, 77, 88 against late poistion (CO, BTN) open raise, you can 3-bet at a certain frequency in the big and small blind
 
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Criminal Bizzy

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3 betting with small pocket pairs depends on the table that I am playing with. The thing to keep in mind is that if a player calls you then you are hoping that they do not have a premium pocket pair. I personally tend to try and 3-bet with small pocket pairs about 50% of the time.
 
antonis32123

antonis32123

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I have seen some gameplay , player with 22-88 limps gets raised , some calls then he shoves to see the whole board and get some implied odds , and gets to huge set win post flop. Or 3bets prefolp huge as a bug stack with 77-1010 , gets calls and see the board , plays with odds , limps , 3bets , calls shoves , gambling :)

I really have to learn how to do it .
 
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pakyut

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For me, I don't 3 bet low pairs. I only 3 bet AA, KK, QQ. Thank you. :)
 
wrzlbrnft

wrzlbrnft

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very rarely I 3-bet low pockets. In cash almost never, in MTT's depending on my stack size. With less than arround 8bb stack, my 3-bet will be a shove
 
BelFish

BelFish

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3 betting with small pocket pairs depends on the table that I am playing with. The thing to keep in mind is that if a player calls you then you are hoping that they do not have a premium pocket pair. I personally tend to try and 3-bet with small pocket pairs about 50% of the time.
On the contrary, it is better if the opponent have a premium pair. And we'd better get into the game by limping or calling a raise from a player with big stack. It's better not to 3-bet these hands at low-limit cash games...
 
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Criminal Bizzy

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On the contrary, it is better if the opponent have a premium pair. And we'd better get into the game by limping or calling a raise from a player with big stack. It's better not to 3-bet these hands at low-limit cash games...


You are only hoping they have that premium pocket pair when you hit your set. By not 3-betting you are leaving a lot of equity on the table that you could take advantage of and severely limiting yourself on how you can play post flop. Generally speaking against a 10% opening range a small pocket pair still has 40%-45% equity preflop. Your equity will jump to 55% post flop vs the 10% opening range so long as there is not a card that gives them a set.

Then there is the fact that you are playing in a low limit cash game. Generally speaking most players have a low thresh hold to defending against 3-bets and are over folding. Its better to 3-bet pre-flop and take control of the pot. Villain will let you know if they have a strong hand.

Edit - If a card that would give villain a set or some sort of broad way card comes on the flop your equity only jumps to 48%-50% vs a 10% opening range.
 
Last edited:
Evan Jarvis

Evan Jarvis

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The intuitive thought is that you want to be calling with your lower pocket pairs, since you want to see flops as cheaply as possible. But if you are always calling, and never 3-betting this would tell someone a lot about your 3betting range.

Is it correct to assume that always calling in Position with lower pocket pairs, and then defending with a mix of calls and 3bets in the blinds is a better tactic than always calling / folding?


If the action has gone raise --> call --> then I'm almost always calling with these hands (especially on the button when having position or on the bid blind when closing the action)

But if the action is a single raise I'm with you that occasionally I'll mix them in with a 3bet from the blinds. I especially like the play when we are deepstacked because we increase the implied odds of the hand by building a bigger pot.

If we flop or turn a set (since opponent will usually just call the flop bet) and they have flopped a pair then we can win a very big pot. We'll also get to win the pot when they miss the flop, and it's a hand they'll never be able to put you on.

I don't do it all the time, but against players with a high fold to 3bet, especially loose openers, I was a big fan of throwing small pairs into my 3betting range.

Great question, and of course it's very situational, but I like having that option in the arsenal!
 
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Recreationalplayer

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22-77 are not good candidates for 3 betting.
 
samersv

samersv

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if we assume that many of your opponents open 20% or more hands, the range of my 3 bets, starting with the button/cutoff /HJ. will be 2 times more often than against players with VPIP < 20%
 
blueskies

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Only if I have position and I know villain is capable of folding. Last thing I wanna do is being OOP in an inflated pot and all I got is a small PP.
 
M

Medina

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I really don’t like playing 22 - 77 pocket pairs. Of course, if I have little chips, I play with these hands, which is just all-in.
Your question is the higher level of poker where I don’t hold,however, i understand the issue and do not think it is good to deviate from the right strategy, for manipulating range statistics.
We lose more value than we gain.
 
Q

Qairo

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I always play these pairs to get value from Three.
If you get it you will take big pot.
 
YuriDitz

YuriDitz

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I never 3-beting on these pairs partly because I play microclimates and it just doesn't make sense there. Perhaps at a high level of poker such a game is possible, but I don’t think it is profitable.
 
0546474

0546474

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From early position, I fold small pairs and definitely never 3-bet!!!
 
N

No Bologna

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No Bologna

Rarely. I feel they are just not a strong enough raising hand. I like to see the flop with a week pair and hope I hit a set, then I can play accordingly. Depending on board texture, usually you can get some easy chips.
 
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Redman1902

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Since these hands also realize their equity quite well in multiway pots, I don't play them preflop so aggressively against an open raise (at least without a read that tells me to do so). Also, you don't have to worry too much about board coverage unless you are at a higher level.
 
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manIk5

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Depends on opponents I play against . But usually I 3bet any pocket pair in cash games , or fold . It all depends :)

If my opponents are tighter , my 3bet percentage is smaller , and vice versa !
 
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