How to play low pairs out of position

Patoamz95

Patoamz95

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I am very green, at the moment I will have about 15,000 hands in NL2, that's why I need
some very simple techniques to play low pairs being an out-of-position aggressor, I usually play them as if I had AA or KK, I raise strong preflop and then I put
3 barrel, I guess they'll only pay me AK, AQ, AJ, in case the villain
I hit something on the flop and only AA and KK would re-raise me on the river, what do you think?
 
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Katie Dozier

Katie Dozier

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I am very green, at the moment I will have about 15,000 hands in NL2, that's why I need
some very simple techniques to play low pairs being an out-of-position aggressor, I usually play them as if I had AA or KK, I raise strong preflop and then I put
3 barrel, I guess they'll only pay me AK, AQ, AJ, in case the villain
I hit something on the flop and only AA and KK would re-raise me on the river, what do you think?


I am a tournament player, but for what it’s worth I’d generally recommend not playing the low pocket pairs the same way as you do your monsters.

Early in a tournament, when chips play far more similarly to the way cash does, I tend to open around 88+ from early position and discard the low pocket pairs. With deep stacks, we may be able to set mine with low pocket pairs (particularly with position) by calling raises or even overlimping—but playing large pots with them out of position is unlikely to be a winning strategy with them long term.

Hope this helps :)
 
MattRyder

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I try to get into a hand as cheaply as possible with pocket pairs, since they miss the flop so often. I won't play the low ones in Omaha at all regardless of position. Going big with low pairs from EP in NLHE is often a recipe for disaster since higher pairs are always going to call/raise as are the big Ace hands. If you open on the larger side from UTG w/ 22 and get called/raised by MP w/ TT and the Btn w/ AKs you're almost always shooting blanks. The chances of you successfully bet/bluffing the flop are low, especially if you've already established a loose and aggressive persona.
 
Evan Jarvis

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I am very green, at the moment I will have about 15,000 hands in NL2, that's why I need
some very simple techniques to play low pairs being an out-of-position aggressor, I usually play them as if I had AA or KK, I raise strong preflop and then I put
3 barrel, I guess they'll only pay me AK, AQ, AJ, in case the villain
I hit something on the flop and only AA and KK would re-raise me on the river, what do you think?


Sounds like a pretty high risk approach :)

If your opponents are folding more than they should then you may be able to get away with it.

This speaks more to your great skills in hand reading than it does of playing small pairs specifically.

I generally play small pairs pretty cautiously out of position as there are better hands to bluff with (gutshots, flush draws, straight draws, overs etc.) that have more outs to improve (and more equity in the pot) than the small pairs do.

This video has basically my entire preflop approach and I still follow it to this day :)

 
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Ottohenrique 12

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I don't like playing with low pairs out of hand, when I see that the game is cheap I pay, but I don't like paying
 
Shumkoolie

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Just some thoughts, similar to what Katie and Evan said, there are better spots that you can take with different hands where you can pressure your opponent to making a tight (and maybe incorrect fold). I've come to discover over time that low pocket pairs out of position are not hands you want to commit chips with, primarily because you have to get your hand through more people to either see a flop (if limping), or to get folds (if you are raising).

It has a domino effect on your stack, in that if you have 25 big blinds for example, you are down to 23-24 big blinds if you have to fold to a raise or shove behind you. Then, when the blinds increase, you are down to 16-17 big blinds instead of 19-20, and your stack gets shorter quicker, to the point where you are going to have to risk all your chips with very little fold equity against a big stack.

It's crucial to pay attention to how your table is playing, especially if you have stacks that are behind you where they are going to be 3 bet shoving. You want to pass on these low pocket pairs in early position for that reason, as you're just throwing out dead money. Every pro here is going to tell you that position is vital to success in poker. Playing poker out of position is like trying to swim against the current, you're just not going to succeed in the long run.
 
byron42

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Just some thoughts, similar to what Katie and Evan said, there are better spots that you can take with different hands where you can pressure your opponent to making a tight (and maybe incorrect fold). I've come to discover over time that low pocket pairs out of position are not hands you want to commit chips with, primarily because you have to get your hand through more people to either see a flop (if limping), or to get folds (if you are raising).

It has a domino effect on your stack, in that if you have 25 big blinds for example, you are down to 23-24 big blinds if you have to fold to a raise or shove behind you. Then, when the blinds increase, you are down to 16-17 big blinds instead of 19-20, and your stack gets shorter quicker, to the point where you are going to have to risk all your chips with very little fold equity against a big stack.

It's crucial to pay attention to how your table is playing, especially if you have stacks that are behind you where they are going to be 3 bet shoving. You want to pass on these low pocket pairs in early position for that reason, as you're just throwing out dead money. Every pro here is going to tell you that position is vital to success in poker. Playing poker out of position is like trying to swim against the current, you're just not going to succeed in the long run.

Spot on for sure, but if you have a decent stack (and the table isn't insane) it might be worth just limping in (only limping not calling/raising other bets) to see if you can hit a set on the flop. Maybe not the best play, but if you really wanna see if your 4's are worth anything utg2...hit the set and check raise if you get that chance imo. If you miss the flop, just cut your losses and pray you don't keep getting small PP out of position or your stack will disappear quite quickly with this approach. What others are saying here, the best play is to know your ranges and dump hands that don't hit them preflop.
 
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the_bridge222

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I think it would be better if you play with caution.Good luck!
 
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fundiver199

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If you open a small pair, get action and miss your set, usually the best plan is to try and get to a cheap showdown, and if the opponent will not allow this, then just fold. Sometimes you can put out a small bet for value/protection, if for instance you have 44 on 552.
 
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1nsomn1a

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Aggressively playing low pairs out of position requires you to have an excellent reading of your opponents and preferably a tight reputation. And if you play against recreational players, you will get into a huge minus.:)
 
Shumkoolie

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Spot on for sure, but if you have a decent stack (and the table isn't insane) it might be worth just limping in (only limping not calling/raising other bets) to see if you can hit a set on the flop. Maybe not the best play, but if you really wanna see if your 4's are worth anything utg2...hit the set and check raise if you get that chance imo. If you miss the flop, just cut your losses and pray you don't keep getting small PP out of position or your stack will disappear quite quickly with this approach. What others are saying here, the best play is to know your ranges and dump hands that don't hit them preflop.

Yes, your first sentence makes sense if it's the right table dynamic, and it's not a very difficult hand to play post-flop, the flop either smashes you or you whiff.

Aggressively playing low pairs out of position requires you to have an excellent reading of your opponents and preferably a tight reputation. And if you play against recreational players, you will get into a huge minus.:)


The very last thing you said is spot on. If you know you're going to get into a multi-way pot, or have players behind that are going to raise, and/or are calling stations post-flop, then you're bleeding chips big time.

In an MTT yesterday, I flopped a set against a player who was never folding to anything I did, and I extracted maximum value from him/her. Knowing he was going to overlimp, based on his/her stats, I speculated (it was the early stages of the tournament, so stacks were still pretty deep).
 
Hoyt88Slayer

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It possible

Best to raise to get ppl out, you know pairs and high cards are going to call you. Best not get caught in a trap, check anything after the flop, even if you hit a set
 
Andrei Korolev

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Outside the call or bet position...And what small pairs?...From dames to deuces or from nines to deuces...
 
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