Some of the trickiest hands that you will come across in Texas Hold’em are small pocket pairs. They can be fairly hard to understand and you may have a hard time making decisions when you look down at a couple of small matching cards. There is a pretty set way that you should play these hands and once you get the experience you will realize why you play the way that you play small pocket pairs.
When to play Small Pocket Pairs?
The most important thing you need to know is that small pocket pairs are not good in a full game unless you hit a set with them. What you also must know, is that you are not very likely to hit a set. Still, when you do hit a set it will pay off more than you could imagine. Most of the time it is the last hand that your opponent will put you on and more times then not, it will lead to an all-in situation. You will get paid off on sets, more than any other kind of hand when it is a set made from your pocket pair.
With that said, you might be wondering when a good time to play would be. There are three things you should think about before making the choice to play small pocket pairs. The first thing would be how much money is in the pot? The next question would be how much money is likely to be put into the pot? Then, lastly; how much money do I need to put into the pot? Now, this is really just basic pot odds and implied odds, but you may not know what those are yet. So for now, just ask yourself those questions. If there is a lot more money to be made than there is to be risked; you should call.
When not to play Small Pocket Pairs?
This is basically just the opposite of what was said above. If you are not getting good odds, you should fold. The worst time to play a small pocket pair would be in an all-in situation before the flop. You are a huge underdog, most likely against most all-in hands at a full table. That is why you only play when you are getting great odds. If you do that, it will be worth it to call, because you will hit a set enough to make up for all the times you do not hit a set in that situation. It is all about the numbers.
Overall, smaller pocket pairs are perhaps the biggest misleading hand in poker. A lot of people assume they are something better than they are. If you do not hit a set, they are going to lose most of the time. If you play them the right way, you will be able to make a lot of money from small pocket pairs. If you over use them, you will lose a lot of money.