Playing Pocket Pairs

Historically, out of all the winning hands in Texas Hold’em poker, a high card wins usually 45% of the time and a pair or better roughly wins about 55% of the time. A typical pair of eights without improving through a set on the flop, river, or turn would only tend to beat a high card or a lower pair. It starts getting worse once the player goes lower down the scale. That’s something to keep in mind in the online poker rooms and Las Vegas casinos.

Usually, when a player sees two eights in the hand, he gets excited. However, practically it isn’t a good pair at all. The disadvantage of holding two eights in your hand is that the only card that could improve your hand is another eight, at the same time as your opponents might have two better/higher cards and along with the boarding card, their hand would be better than eights. In addition, they might have a flush or a straight draw along with your pair, which means there are fewer chances of winning until you get really lucky.

Pocket Pairs – The Strategic Play

There are hundreds of poker strategies existing on the Internet, to play poker pairs appropriately. However, we recommend the two best techniques that could be used with low to medium pocket pairs.

The first strategy involves raising the pot. The next step would be to try and eliminate the opponents out of the hand. You stand better chances of winning if there is less competition at the time of calling the flop. In the end, if you manage to get all the opponents, except one, out of the hand, you have a better chance of winning the pot. Typically, this strategy would work well if the player is in a late position. While calling a raise on an early position, there are chances that you would get re-raised by about two to three callers. This would cause a lot of trouble, hence restricting your middle pair to come to the top.

The second strategy has proven to be more effective while playing small to medium-pocket pairs. Here, all you need to do is try to limp in and expect to hit three cards of the same kind (also called a set) on the flop in Conclusively, hitting three eights would become a strong hand and it would also present an opportunity for slow play if the other circumstances are right. The best thing about this hand is that it is in disguise and it is unlikely that your opponents could put you off with triples. Secondly, if there is a pair of similar kinds on the board, you stand a chance of getting an unbeatable house.

Therefore the moral of the story would be to tread carefully as far as small to medium pocket pairs are concerned. Always keep in mind that there are fewer chances of holding up and winning a hand with a lower pair. Be prepared to fold your pair at any point during the game. It has been demonstrated that even an AA pair could lead down to the path of ruin if played incorrectly.