This is a discussion on How do you play pairs on hand? within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; Hi guys I just want to open a thread on best strategies to play pairs on hand depending positions.
Hi guys I just want to open a thread on best strategies to play pairs on hand depending positions.
Well, I would advise you proceed with caution, even with pocket aces. It's only a pair. You have to mine your sets, and this is based on frequency. I believe you'll get a set approximately once out of every five or six pocket pairs you play.
There are factors to consider for your level of aggression: Your position, your stack size versus the opponents' stacks, the blinds, etc. There's an article somewhere on CC about playing pairs and set mining, if you're curious and want to learn more.
Small pairs should be played with great caution. The first rule is that when faced with a very strong raise, it is strongly advised to fold them. because In the best of cases, you go for a 50-50. with middle pairs in the early position, you can try to see a cheap flop. In the intermediate position, it is advisable to raise to isolate a player who would like to follow your raise or to collect the blinds. If you are followed, caution is advised. Unless you have a favorable flop. with tall pairs. the tactics are much simpler. Whatever the position. you have to raise because the goal is to find yourself facing a single player who would hold a strong hand. but weaker than yours.
I play small couples with patience, waiting for three of a kind. Larger couples from 10/10 i usually play aggressively. But it is indeed only a few, i think the best thing is to wait with the larger pairs with the cards that are on the table.
Depending of the pair and the position there are some different ways to play, I can say that your image in the table, and your reads can help a lot your game.
Low pairs in early position I will try to play for set, but depending of the amount of players in the hand, and what appears on the flop I will make a cbet, or check/raise, trying to represent a strong hand, this position are good for this, because the range of who are playing in this position tending to be the top.
Low pair in late position I will play strong, like with premium hands, but if the villains does anything strange I be prepared for fold this hand.
High pair in any position I will play strong, and avoid to enter in a hand with many players, I will bet, 3bet, 4bet, trying to extract value and play against less players, but always with caution, because the others plays can have a pair more high, or can increase the strong of theirs hands in the accord of the board.
In the middle I will play based on the number of players after me, with less players more agressive I will be, per exemple, raising 3x with 99, with no call or raises, I will play more agressive than with one or more player raising or calling in later positions.
This topic keep repeating. Let my summarize my thoughts:
With deep stacks:
small and medium pocker pairs - limp in and call a raise from any position to hit a set and double up against AA etc.
large pocker pairs - raise, make a bet on flop/turn but try to limit the pot to minimum and don't lose whole stack with them
With shallow stacks
- low and medium pairs - fold from early position, play as high pocker pairs from late
- high pocket pairs - raise from any position, if no overcards hit, go all-in
There are so many variables to give a proper answer. I would suggest taking a look at a range from preflop charts; they are freely available online. Study as many as you can, 9 handed and 6 handed and 15BB's up to around 100BB's (anything above that will largely play the same as 100BB's
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
I think pocket pairs can be played more aggressively in position, or check-call if there is no position. If a pair is from the top range, then you need to knock out opponents who can make a combination higher, but if the pair is weak, then it is often worth folding.