What is the best way to play pairs with 20bbs?

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brunochano

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Hi guys how are you doing? I hope you are all fine!!

I have this question because my coach teached me that we can shove pairs with this effective stack but recently I have had two looses with 44 and 55 and I started asking myself if this wasn't the way he found to simplify the game for me.

Actually I wonder if as I move forward studying the game then it would be better just raising and don't be scare of the pos flop but the playability of this sort of hand post flop is horrible!

I've put some ranges in equilab and discovered that in the micros I play this kind of hand is basically going to be a flip x the calling range ( Maybe a 5 / 2% edge in some cases but would it be enought to make a profitable shove?) and these hands I mentioned I was always callled by Ax so I got stuck in the thought about how could I preservate my tournament life and find some edges avoiding any mistakes if I'm doing so.

I also have the feeling that when playing sit go's these kind of shove is less dangerous then in a tournament I think that here we have a huge field and shoving puts you in a though spot because besides you are basically flipping you still have a huge field ahead seems like you have no edge I don't know why... what do you think about this way of thinking??

And just to be clear I'm more specifically talking about low pairs like 22-66.
 
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emzadii

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always raise 66 in all positions.
junk 55-22 UTG
junk 44-22 UTG+1 to LJ
always raise 55 LJ
always raise 44 and junk 33-22 CO
always shove 44-22 BTN & SB

flipping against overcards is such a yucky situation, of course. but 20bb is a no-man's land. shoving the low baby pairs, while still having equity, mitigates this somewhat: villain's calling range would be narrower, and 22-44 are slightly ahead of most of his calling combos. it sucks, but it's a necessary maneuver to build the stack back to the 40bb zone.

if icm consideration comes into play, though, then it's okay to fold these sometimes.
 
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fundiver199

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Open jamming with 20BB is very deep and typically not recommended, unless its a situation, where we can apply a lot of ICM-pressure to the opponent. The main situation for it is blind vs. blind, where open jamming from SB takes away the disadvantage of being out of position. But other than that 20BB is just a really awkward stack size for small pairs, and there is nothing wrong with simply dumping them even in late position.

Lets say for instance we are on a final table, we are on BTN, and we look down at 33. We have 19BB, and two good aggressive players in the blinds each have 40-50BB. UTG+1 is the table short stack with 4BB. If we open jam here, its an ICM-disaster, if we get called and lose, and we are not getting a good risk/reward.

If on the other hand we min-raise, the players in the blinds will jam on us with a lot of hands, in which case we need to fold. Or BB will defend by calling, and then our hand play really poorly postflop with short stacks. On a lot of boards we will need to check back, and then big blind with his much bigger stack can bet and take it down, weather he has it or not. So we dont have any realistic way to make money by getting involved with 33, and therefore we should just fold and wait for a better hand or for UTG+1 to bust, so we get a payjump.
 
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Stickyfish

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IMO I think we have to make adjustments depending upon the stage of the tournament and players to act.
I personally would min-raise from a later position rather than just shoving 20bb. Depending upon the board texture when can continue our play.
Anyway, this is just my simple thought.
Good Luck.
 
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madmandown

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The best strategy is to min oper raise and try to see flop if you have 55+ to JJ and play accordingly but if you have QQ+ than try to 3 bet some time 4 bet shove preflop.
 
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