Playing Small Pairs


When a poker player picks up a small pocket pair on PockerStar, they want to adjust their play depending on where they are sitting, the make-up of the table, and their stack size. Playing small pairs from early position often proves costly. However, playing small pocket pairs from later positions can be quite profitable. Regardless of where the player sits when they have a small pair, the poker player should adjust their posture depending on their stack size and how aggressive the table is.

When playing from early position in cash games, a poker player holding a small pair such as pocket twos, threes, or fours is best served folding their hand preflop at aggressive poker tables. Alternatively, the player can simply limp with their smaller pair from early position in hopes of getting a cheap flop. If the raise comes immediately from your left and there are multiple callers, making a terminating call can be done. However, a player wants to avoid calling a raise with a small pair from early position in situations when there are still others left to act before the flop, as making a call can become quite costly with the potential of facing a reraise.

The small pocket pairs hold up ideally against several pocker stars players and the majority of the value in small pairs is through implied odds. This means a player wants a cheap, multi-way flop in most instances. However, when playing from later position, there is nothing wrong with closing your eyes and imagining that the pair is a bit stronger than it actually is. Bluffing and semi-bluffing is certainly appropriate when playing from late position. Additionally, if the poker table is quite passive, limping from any position with a small pair is perfectly acceptable. Passive tables often lead to cheap flops with many players.

If a player at has a short stack, they should avoid playing small pocket pairs at the cash tables unless their intention is to move all-in through one swift move, as the small pairs are most valued when there are high implied odds. A short stack is incapable of producing such a thing. When playing with a deep stack and against deeper stacks, players can effectively play small pairs, as flopping a set with the small pair can produce great results. Should a player flop a set, they should adjust their focus to try to get as much money into the center of the table as possible. If this means checking to let your opponent do the heavy lifting, then a check is in order. If it means making a pot sized bet, then betting the pot is in order. However one builds a pot, the goal is to get your opponent all-in before he realizes he is there.