How To Play Small Pocket Pairs



Apr 24, 2005
Total posts
Most players hesitate when dealt
a small pocket pair. They aren't
sure what to do with the hand.

Should you raise or should you
limp in with your hand?

Well, it really depends on the
action at the table and your

Let's say your sitting just to
the right of the button and you're
dealt pocket 4's.

Drew is to the left of the big
blind and is first to act before
the flop.

He comes out firing and makes it
$10 to play. Josh is next to act
and he calls the raise along with
three other players.

There is $53 in the pot up to this
point, and its finally time for
you to act.
You know you're beat right now.

In fact, you may have the weakest
hand of everyone. So do you muck
the 4's?

No, this is where you play the
pot odds and call the bet.

This may be your biggest win all
night if you hit your trips.

The flop hits K,9,4 and Drew
begins the action with a huge bet.

Two others call and the action is
back to you. You push your entire
stack in because you know you will
get a caller.

Plus, there are 2 hearts on the
board and you don't want someone
to catch a lucky flush.

If they want to chase, they will
have to pay the price.

Drew calls the all-in bet with
Big Slick and you take his entire

This is how you play a small wired
pair when the pot size is right.

Even though you know that someone
may be sitting on pocket aces,
you're going to rake a huge pot
if you hit your trips.

When the flop hits K,9,4, your
opponents can never put you on
pocket 4's.

These are the hands that you make
money with if you play correctly.

Now what if you're dealt pocket
4's while on the button. Everyone
at the table has limped in and the
action is to you.

How do you play the hand in this

You have to play aggressively so
you make it $15 to play. This is
a rather large bet but you did it
for a reason.

You want to get rid of the crap
hands at the table and hopefully
go heads up against just one
opponent who has a hand like AJ
or KQ.

This is exactly what happens. Drew
is the only player to call your bet.

The flop hits A,K,2. Now you've
got a huge advantage because Drew
must act first. He checks to you
and your pocket 4's.

Now you represent the flop as
though you've hit the ace or king
on the board...

You fire out a $40 bet.

Drew looks down at his pocket 5's
for a moment and soon mucks the
hand because he has to put you on
a big hand... when in fact, he has
you beat.

This is how you play aggressively
with a small pocket pair when you
have good positioning and everyone
has limped in.

If you play these hands correctly,
you're going to steal a few extra
pots a night and be the player at
the table that dictates the action.


Creature of leisure
Aug 25, 2005
Total posts
Excellent article! Thanks for posting. This has been something of an issue for me lately.
Kj Sexton

Kj Sexton

Dec 23, 2005
Total posts
And if you don't catch it on the flop , don't chase of course!
Kj Sexton

Kj Sexton

Dec 23, 2005
Total posts
P.S: I just lost an all in with an Ace 10 of spades to pocket 4's.... I blame this thread! ;-)
Dennis C

Dennis C

Apr 9, 2005
Total posts
Twizzy, that is an awfuly narow thread. Could it have been a cut and paste?:)

Seriously thow. Which was first this thread or the thread How do you play small pocket pairs?
Dennis C

Dennis C

Apr 9, 2005
Total posts
I went back and looked and this thread came second. So why didn't you post it in the other one? It is a good post no matter where it is, I was just curious.


Nov 20, 2005
Total posts
thanks for the advice........I got caught so many times with small pairs that I started just folding the darn things....Someone always drew their ace or king