Pocket Pairs - are they overrated?

killing_random

killing_random

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If you don't catch a set on flop your pocket become bluff-catcher at best. It basically has no pot-odds to work with on later streets. Poor hand for bluff cos usually it's block nothing.
Then how mostly every pocket pair made their way into all, even tightest open-rease charts if players hate even such a high pair as JJ.
Is that flop-set-catching exclusive or bluff-3bet-fold exclusive cos if you get 4bet or called and there's one higher card on flop - you screwed.
Like do they have showdown value at all?
 
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bakang

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make sure you double check to see if you're playing on , we'll call it "cheat on line." They have no respect for poker math. I'm fresh off a flopped 2 pair that got screwed by a worse hand once again. It's amazing they offer a free play, because they actively try so hard to screw you. Carribean crooks imo
 
Austria7

Austria7

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I think small pairs have value against a single player. In family pots where many players are involved, it becomes very difficult to continue playing with a small pair or even under pair (all cards on the board are higher than your own pocket pair) until the river. Against a single opponent who, for example, often calls a raise with ace rags, you are often ahead if your own pair is higher - in that case he often only plays with "one card" - so he has 3 outs to hit one of the aces in the deck. As so often, it depends on the opponent, his hand range, his playing style, the number of opponents and your own position at the table, whether and how best to play small pocket pairs.
 
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fundiver199

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Each pocket pair is different, and I will say, that the smallest ones tend to be overvalued by a lot of poker players. Its pretty common for people to feel, they always have to see a flop with a pair, and that is certainly not the case.

When I played cash games on pokerstars and began running filters in my database, one of the first things, that jumped right out at me, was, that I was losing money with 22-55. And after discovering this I naturally began tightening up. Generally open folding these hands from early position at full ring tables and not mindlessly taking on every single set mining spot.

Specifically with setmining the issue is, that people dont always spew as much postflop, as we would ideally like. Again talking about cash games, most decent players dont stack off a single pair in a single raised pot for 100BB, or at least they dont do it very often. And this mean, that even when we get that perfect situation, where we flop a set, and someone have a big overpair, we still dont get their entire stack.

And then of course there are those spots, where we get coolered with a set over set, or someone complete their straight or flush against us. Even flopping a set dont always mean, we win the pot. So when we play small pairs it often need to be with some other ways to make money then just flopping a set and getting paid.

In tournaments there are also lots of situations, where stack sizes are just really unfauvorable for small pairs. We are to shallow to setmine and to deep to jam preflop. In those situations it can be fine to open fold a hand like 22 even on the BTN, if we have ICM pressure and aggressive 3-bettors in the blinds.

Hands like 99-JJ on the other hand should definitely be solid winners in our database, and they should always be opened. When people find these hands difficult, its more about the fact, they often make a medium strong made hand, and this kind of hand is somewhat tricky to play. We need to have solid postflop skills and understand concepts like pot control and showdown value and defend well against aggression, when there are overcards to our pair on the board.
 
Matt_Burns88

Matt_Burns88

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It's difficult to talk in generalised terms, but I would simply say not all pairs are made equal.

To illustrate this. using a programme such as Equilab, give yourself AA and calculate your odd against 1 to 8 other opponents with random cards. Then do the same thing with all the other pocket pairs.

Hands like AA, KK, QQ are called premium starting hands for a reason. They will often be the best hand at showdown against one other opponent, even without improving because it is unlikely that you will see an over card. The weaker your pocket pair the more likely your opponent has over cards and the more likely the board will have over cards.

I agree that players often over value mid-low pocket pairs. Personally I fold 2's, 3's and 4's from early position and will often fold them from middle position when facing an early position raiser (of course, it does depend on the opponent to an extent).

With 8's to J's is where I think a lot of people come unstuck because when they don't hit a set and at least one over card hits and they're left with at best a strong marginal hand.

JJ I think is notorious because it looks like such a pretty hand because it has paint on it, but in reality, it is only marginally better than TT or 99. The pictures seem to give some sort of psychological block against the odds and then we all scream that we hate them when they lose exactly the percentage of the time that they should.
 
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pcurley17

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heads up I like poket pairs
seem to get a lot of value if i hit three of a kind
 
inox73

inox73

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for Sure they are overated only a small calculation lession says everything
a guy with 6 and 6 plays against 5 Guys with 2 and 2 ,3 and 3, 4 and 4,5 and 5 and one with A and K
all Players have something and play All in, the leader is now 6 and 6 cause it is the highest the flop comes : 9,10,7 still 6 and 6 is the best turn is 7 still 6and6 leads river is K now A and K wins all others are out. it is only a example for sure it can happens everything different all cards can be showed on the Showdown but all Players with pairs on the hand are losing. So how much can be higher than you if you have pocketpairs and no triple is guaranteed 5 cards on Showdown so many chances that you are going to be beaten. calculate everytime this and learn to get cheap flop to look if your chances are greater to win because triple or better is shown now or if others are now in better position!! i lost many Times but also won many times with pocket pairs it is the luck who let you win or loss !!!calculation can help you to win
 
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Phoenix Wright

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It's difficult to talk in generalised terms, but I would simply say not all pairs are made equal.

To illustrate this. using a programme such as Equilab, give yourself AA and calculate your odd against 1 to 8 other opponents with random cards. Then do the same thing with all the other pocket pairs.

Hands like AA, KK, QQ are called premium starting hands for a reason. They will often be the best hand at showdown against one other opponent, even without improving because it is unlikely that you will see an over card. The weaker your pocket pair the more likely your opponent has over cards and the more likely the board will have over cards.

I agree that players often over value mid-low pocket pairs. Personally I fold 2's, 3's and 4's from early position and will often fold them from middle position when facing an early position raiser (of course, it does depend on the opponent to an extent).

With 8's to J's is where I think a lot of people come unstuck because when they don't hit a set and at least one over card hits and they're left with at best a strong marginal hand.

JJ I think is notorious because it looks like such a pretty hand because it has paint on it, but in reality, it is only marginally better than TT or 99. The pictures seem to give some sort of psychological block against the odds and then we all scream that we hate them when they lose exactly the percentage of the time that they should.

+1 This comment said it best I think. I'd like to add that the lower our pocket pair is, then the higher the probability of facing overcards (duh, right? ;) ). Take a hand like sailboats (44) and realize that pretty much everything to come are overcards. Similarly, KK has almost no overcards (just an Ace). This is fairly intuitive and some might shrug it off due to it being obvious. However, I think this is often overlooked with the various "middle pairs."

Take 66 for instance. Sure, I might play it based on the situation and position; however, we are likely facing overcards a lot. Think about possible hands: AK, AQ, QJ, JT, 98 etc. all are two overcards to the pocket sixes. What are we hoping for? One overcard like low Ax hands? It is no surprise that pocket sixes isn't a premium hand. Comparing this to a hand like pocket Jacks, we see that JJ is in much better shape. True, we still have many two overcard combinations, but we also have a little better equity versus hands like AT or K9.

In generalized terms, pocket pairs are sometimes over-valued because people "clump" them into categories that might not do it justice. Considering TT equal to 55 for both being "middle pocket pairs" seems like a mental error; I'd much prefer TT :)
 
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