Playing pocket pairs

    • Royaltramp
      Joined: 28.11.2010 Posts: 215
      Alright so I'm new to playing poker for real money and I'm struggling with BSS a little, partly due to stupid mistakes and partly due to variance, but looking at my stats, pocket pairs seem to be my biggest leak, costing me huge amounts of money - in fact they probably account for 80% of my losses.

      I've been relying on the starting hand chart a lot of the time since when I played previously I was used to playing SH not FR, and needed a good tight starting range. The thing is it often says to just limp in with pocket pairs and I have been advised that this isn't a good idea - so, how do you treat 22-99?

      If you write it in a similar format to the starting chart that helps even more, e.g:
      All players fold
      One player calls
      One player raises

      I'm thinking that maybe I should start folding pocket pairs in early and middle position, then limping in with them if there are multiple limpers when I'm in late position, or raising if there is a single limper/just the blinds. As for the blinds, I'd most likely raise from SB if there aren't any limpers (or maybe one) and check from BB (or call a small raise)

      Thoughts? PS as you can tell I'm new so apologies if my ideas sound like really bad play, they might be :P
  • 3 replies
    • Wriggers
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      Hey, with pocket pairs I like to open 77+ from early positions, then add in 55+ from middle position and all pocket pairs from late position :) I personally don't think it's a good idea to limp mid pocket pairs, and definately not opening the pot by limping with any pocket pairs, since it takes fold equity away from you and even when you do hit a set of the flop you're unlikely to gain much from it because the lack of raising preflop suggests a lot of weak hands :)

      I think I rambled a bit there so here's a summary: I open/raise 77+ from Early, 55+ from Middle and all pocket pairs from Late positions.

      Also, if there are a lot of limpers before you I tend to limp in with 22-66 and raise the rest :)
    • mordath
      Joined: 15.11.2009 Posts: 396
      Don't openlimp in SH play it just bleeds money. The starting hand chart if it's the FR you're refering to is to keep you out of trouble and play easy post flop poker and also for more passive games.

      Conservative chart could be: 77+ raise UTG, 55+ in MP and 22+ in CO/BTN.
      This wouldn't change with 1 limper really unless he is shortstack.

      I like just calling any PP to a single raise in position most of the time. Same in the blinds but maybe folding 22-55 or so against a BTN raise since you don't get payed of so often with BTNs weak range and small PP like that plays poorly out of position.

      SB I don't mind completing 22-77 sometimes instead of raising against limpers.
      BB I would raise any PP against CO or later limpers but maybe not against 4-5 limpers and you have 22 you can check.

      I would start out like this and then as you gain more experience start raising all PP in any position. Just don't open limp period is generally good. Either come in with a raise or just fold. Also if you called a raise and don't hit your set don't just automatically call the flop bet and fold to further action as that would be a big leak just fold the flop unless it's superdry. Let them bluff you here it's a bad spot to make a stand.
    • DoigteurFou
      Joined: 16.08.2007 Posts: 1,529
      Mordath gives a good advice in my opinion.

      Just keep in mind that limping your pps makes you play for the set and only the set. When you get overpairs (77 on 2 4 6 flop for example) be very careful. Just value-bet them and fold to any resistance. Such overpairs are quite hard to play since people might pay with overcards. Generally in such cases, I value-bet against 1/2 oponents (and try to keep the pot as small as possible in the rest of the hand), check/fold against more than 2 oponents. I think it's not bad to check/fold those overpairs at the beginning.

      If you flop no set and no overpair, just don't be shy: check/fold is your line (except if you're given 24:1 odds, which sometimes happen when fishes minbets the flop, but it's quite rare).