General strategy discussion.

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Playing medium and small pairs

Postby Whorem1978 » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:18 am

Phil Hellmuth suggests in his book to ram and jam the pot with medium/small pairs especially pre-flop in Limit Hold'em. He suggests raising after the flop even if you don't hit anything--and if you've ever seen Hellmuth play on TV you know if he enters a pot that he loves raising--and he also suggests to always make a bet AFTER you were ahead in the hand on the previous card, even if you're not ahead in the hand anymore after a new card hits the board. The two things seem to have similarities.

Compare that to TJ Cloutier, who recommends folding any pairs below 9-9. However, in Cloutier's book "with" McEvoy, he makes a point of noting McEvoy's strategy of limping in and trying to see small pairs cheap. Hellmuth also quotes Cloutier in his latest book, "sometimes you just have to make a stand with pocket 8s."

Lederer's and Harrington's suggestions on medium/small pairs get complicated, but they come down to limping in early and middle position, opening in late position, and don't call any raises.
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Postby Swer1991 » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:12 pm

I hate playing medium pairs, you almost have to hit a set on the flop every single time in order to have a chance of winning.
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Postby Jdawg1142 » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:44 pm

here read what lou krieger has to say with them at

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pk pairs

Postby Sages1989 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:45 pm

yea pocket prs. are difficlut.

depend where you are, who your up

against and how many op.

really like limping in and look for trips.

anyone know the correct pot odds

for calling on 4 th when beat and looking

for trips?? or never call a bet even the



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Postby Alaines » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:30 pm

I would not stick to one style of play for a specific hand. There are too many variables in poker to say, "I would always do this". I play no limit mostly and I vary my play with these types of hands so that people do not know what I have.
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Postby Jdawg1142 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:33 pm

I play them like this always see the flop if noone raised it in no limit. the odds of you hiting the set is 11.4% not great odds but when you hit that set you have potential for a lot of money :)
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Postby Mosithe » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:02 am

I always limp in when the blinds are cheap and it's relatively a family pot, trying to hit a set.

When it's short handed, i'll raise and will put the opponent on high cards if he calls. I'll bet high if the flop comes rags to try and push his high cards out or else he'll have to pay drawing 24%
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Postby Unpled » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:12 pm

Low limit tables, ealry in a tourny without big bet, I always play low pairs. I will just about never raise with them though unless depending on the table your at and if you know the players well. If your known as a tight player then I might give a decent raise with em and hope I hit them.. Then if I do I'll slow play it and hope I get a good bet. I'll just about never play low pairs late in a tourny with blinds being huge unless its heads up or I am really out of options.
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Postby Chammat » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:57 pm

just glancing through old posts and i saw this one, with pocket pairs i find you have to be very aggressive preflop even a couple of ducks, you want to throw as many people out of the pot as you can, unless preflop you already have a pair the odds of having a hand better then high card on the flop are 33% that means heads up 22 will be winning on the flop 66% of the time, with pocket pairs you need to be aggressive to steal blinds, you want to be heads up at the most, if you raise with them, and get 2/3 callers there arnt any good.! just my opinion anyone agree/ disagree let me know your thoughts please these are just mine, i do struggle playing pocket pairs :(
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med and small pair

Postby Ouseetteled » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:17 pm

I play small pair by just calling the BB or small raise to see the flop.  If it's an all-in raise I fold.  It's that simple.  On the flop if I hit my set I obviously bet aggressively.  If all folds then i'll take the pot.  If I get re-raised I go over the top all-in;  if they have a better set good for them.
That's the risk in Poker you must take to win big pots.
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Postby Boxylisher » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:01 pm

i think it depends on the stage of the game and how chips you have in front of you. its always a great feeling when you hit those trips with a couple face cards to give someone the top pair.
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Postby Dazint » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:45 pm

when im low-stack, i love going in with low or mid-range pocket pairs and winning
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Postby Brat1996 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:31 pm

low and medium pocket pairs just seem to be a problem for me. unless you get really lucky and the board is lower than your pair or the slim chance that you hit your set they're terrible. something that works for me though, is playing low pairs very aggresively.
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Postby Begine92 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:16 pm

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Postby Whings » Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:19 pm

I tend to agree with harrington/lederers strategies regarding medium to small PP pairs.

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