This is a discussion on FOTP- Fear of Top Pair within the online poker forums, in the General Poker section; Does anyone else ever get into a mindset where you just think someone else always has top pair?
I have observed a strange mindset I can
Yes, this is common. But as long as you're playing position poker this is not necessarily a problem. The probability that someone has a pair in a two way pot is very low. That's why ranges are so important. Limping to the flop with maybe 3 or 4 other callers, sure-- someone very likely is gonna have a pair.
But in a situation where you raise or call a raise, and maybe one or two get behind now its time to put ranges. Folks in late position often have J10 higher Aces suited, or Ace rag versus those in early mid to high pocket pair or maybe beautiful suited connectors.
On a dry board with no texture its more probable than not, your villian or villian(s) don't have a pair. It's on the flop you have to decide whether they have a pair, by betting for information, and then reevaluating on the turn. The biggest mistakes for me online is checking for pot control oop, and then villian hits crap two pair with something like 9/7 or J8 suited. When I had KJ or something like 10/10.
It's better in the long run in my opinion even with callers preflop unless they're more than two, to bet with Mid to high pocket pairs even when boards like A49 pop up. We can't be so scared of an ace that we lose value. Because there are just too many donks out there playing terrible poker.
I will also quickly add, anytime we get reraised with second pair or either top pair from someone in LP, depending on the information you have on villian-- you may have to lay it down. Folks do this more on the turn then the flop to get value, and its harder to fold both second and top pair on dry texture boards on the turn. But still sets do happen, and folks do call 3 and 4 bets with 66s and up. So remember that.
Yes, I also when I play sometimes I just think that someone always has the top pair, but that's when I play JJ-QQ-KK, sometimes I also assume that some other player has the top pair and I play cautiously, but when in the tournament the late stages then I play aggressively on pairs and I'm not afraid that someone is older than a couple, there are different moments in the game where my card plays well or does not play!