How to play big pocket pairs in ring games?

Nitram_80

Nitram_80

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How do you play these in ring games? This is the one thing in my game that costs me alot of money and I must improve on . I had developed this strategy where I would reraise the preflop raiser and then decide what to do depending on his move. Say I raise in mid position with QQ and I get reraised from late position , I would then reraise him and if he puts me all in then I had to put him on KK or AA and fold. This way seems to save more money then to just call his raise and see a flop because if its all rags then you might have to call at least 2 bets or bet at him when you are up against a higher pair. This doesnt work all the time because sometimes he will not put you all in and rather just call your reraise then you are not sure where you stand. I was just in a hand where I had QQ when I reraised him and he called only and the flop were all rags . I checked the flop and so did he which made me suspicious . I checked the turn and this time he puts me all in , I assumed it was the usual bad play of online pocker and put him on AK but he shows KK and takes my money. I thought maybe I should ve just called his preflop raised and kept the pot small and played it more cautious. This is such a hard thing because of the online poker where alot of donkeys reraise with AK , 10,10 and even worst cards. For you to make a fold like this you would have to know what kind of player he is and online that's not an easy thing to do. How do you guys handle big pocket pairs preflop and postflop?
 
tenbob

tenbob

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Its not something very easy to reply to, and it depends on what your defination of a big pair is.

Ill usually split all pairs into a few different cats.

Monsters, attempt to get all in pre-flop AA/KK

Big Pairs : 10's-Q's ill play these pretty fast preflop and dependant on stack sizes/position and what level of aggression im facing ill make my decision from there, folding is usually poor when your playing deep.

Medium Pairs : 77-99, dependant on my table image/position i may play these fast or play for set value, Ill rarely fold.

Small Pairs : Ill usually play for set value, ill occasionally raise with them, again in postion ill call raises against deep oponents.

Once the stack sizes shrink and your against shorter players then your strategy should change drastically. Obviously this is only scratching the surface, and again folding KK could be something that could be considered against a nit, as could calling a shove against a donk with 66 solely for value.

As regards post flop play, reading flop textures and learning when your overpair is beat is essential, for example in your above QQ vs KK hand, did you really think your overpair was still good on a rag flop ??? Youll ususally be up against a set, and never make the mistake that all online poker player are bad, in reality some of the strongest players out there can be found hanging around the micro and small stakes NL rings.
 
A

admb0m

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With a ragged flop(all less than 10),I wouldn't expect to be up against a set from a guy who reraised preflop. I don't see too many people reraise preflop with a small pair. Occasionally I see this done with 10's or J's, but in my experience it is reserved for AA KK. I don't think I can fold QQ with no A or K on the flop. I just hope the other guy doesn't have the goods or he doesn't have much money.
 
J

joeeagles

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I think yours is a very good question and a great example, if it was needed, of how NL holdem will constantly put you to test with tough decisions. That's why the few times I play ring games I prefer limit holdem, because lol I'm a chicken (note that is not to say limit players are chickens, if you play $3/6$ tables and you're not careful some of them will eat you alive). But since I play mostly NL tourneys I've been in that situation many times, and I can tell you, in my opinion, there is no 100% safe strategy, since it's hard to tell if someone is actually holding AA or KK or just plainly overplaying JJ, TT or AK. That said, this is how I play in that spot.

We are assuming here that both you and your opponent have a decent size stack and you don't know what kind of player he/she is, otherwise you will adjust accordingly. My preflop strategy is pretty much like yours, if I'm 1st to raise and he reraises me, I'll reraise again, and the reason for that is to try to figure where I stand. If my opponent goes all-in I'll fold and take the loss. Not that this is necessarily the correct move since some donks will do that with JJ, TT or AK, but if I'm not shortstacked I'm unwilling to risk it all with QQ. If, as was your last case, my opponent calls my reraise and I miss the flop, I will fire at the pot even if the flop has an A, as I might get him to fold if he has KK; if I get reraised all-in, I'll fold. Many will probably disagree with this strategy, since it might have some holes, particularly if rags flop, but he has shown strength throughout the hand, and if he bluffed me out then he played it very well and beat me soundly.

This strategy differs from yours in that I will fold at the end if my opponent keeps showing strength. Keep in mind, however, that things are much different if either you or your opponent are shortstacked, or if you know his tendencies having played him before. Also, this is just my opinion and I'm not an expert. I'll keep checking this thread to see other members opinions.
 
CalgaryPoker

CalgaryPoker

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I must confess that I do not play many ring games as much, I play mainly tourny's. however, In toury's I find that it is best to go big or go home with a pair. Generally, with anything less then 8's I will call the BB, and if it is raised, I fold. anything bigger then that, if I am going to go in, I go all in early. the reason I do this is because of suck outs. I find that if you do this people obviously: (a) fold away, (b) call. The advantage of this is that people are not going to catch a card as likely becuase they cant limp in wiht a 2-9. even if everyone folds, it is better to win the blinds, then to lose everything becuase someone gets to limp until the river and then catchs something. If you are going to go all in with a pair though, I always do it pre flop just becuase it stops the guy with the 2-9 from getting trips as often. Like i said though, because there is the chance of people catching it, this is tourny play for me. in ring games i normally will reraise queen's or higher, and call anything above a 9. if I have pairs below that unless i am in the blinds, I fold just becuase you only have two outs.
 
CalgaryPoker

CalgaryPoker

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Crap. I am sorry for the horrible spelling in that post guys!
 
A

alan1983

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You think re-raising with AK and 1010 is a donkey move? Why is that?


And you fold QQ to a re-reraise everytime?

Neither sounds good to me......
 
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