What to do with Pocket Pairs..

    • keoghh
      keoghh
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.07.2011 Posts: 857
      Hey, im currently playing 2NL and 4NL, and one problem im finding is im unsure what to do with pocket pairs, for example:-

      - If were first to act are we limping to try hit a set and get paid off, or are we raising to hit a set and if we miss then fold unless we have an overpair.

      - If someone raises before us, due to the odds of flopping a set are 7.5:1 do we need certain pot odds for it to be profitable in the long run to call.

      - If someone raises before us and there is a call also before us are we calling?

      - Are we calling or folding to a raise and a re-raise before us?

      Any help or advice would be appreciated as i seem to be wasting most of my money calling raises and 3-bets in order to try flop a set, but then when missing, just giving up. :)
  • 11 replies
    • esuohdla
      esuohdla
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      Joined: 08.05.2011 Posts: 411
      Your post needs clarification. You mention pocket pairs, but not all of them have equal worth (AA being worth much more than 22 for example), Also, are you playing FR/SH/HU? Makes a big difference as to how you treat the hands.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
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      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      I mostly like to openraise pocket pairs, when you hit your hand is well disguised and you may even get some fold equity on high card boards.

      As for calling raises, it's all about implied odds. Have you heard about Call 20?
      While you'll most often get way worse than 7.5:1 to call, you can call because you can count on sometimes getting some extra money when you actually hit.
      If someone raises and there's a call, even better, because you get better pot odds and there's one more opponent for you to possibly get value from when you hit.

      Against a raiser and a 3-bettor when you haven't even joined the pot it's pretty bad, you likely don't really have the implied odds to call that much (unless you consider him to stack off on the flop really often or something, like KK+ range) and you may even get shoved on by the original raiser, when you won't really be able to call.
    • keoghh
      keoghh
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      Joined: 01.07.2011 Posts: 857
      Good thinking, never though about the implied odds of getting paid off, i see now and also is well disguised, sorry didnt clarify, im playin 2/4NL FR and i mean lyk 22-99 as in pocket pairs, hopefully clarifys things.
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
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      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      i have a question... i am aware that holding pocket KK you are looking to get your money in the middle preflop. i was thinking of opening a thread about it the other day but i thought i would wait for the situation to arise a few more times. basically someone raises, i have KK so i reraise, they reraise me so i shove and every time i'm in this situation they have AA. so is it EVER a good idea to fold KK preflop to a 4bet at 2NL FR? i understand people will be playing differently at different limits and definitely at SH but i'm talking about particularly 2NL FR...
    • jugglingbirdy
      jugglingbirdy
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      Joined: 20.07.2010 Posts: 16
      when i started to play the micros i used to open limp 22-77 or something, hoping to get raised for the right odds and hit a set, raised 88+ and depending on board structure i made a cbet. now i play mostly 6max where i never open limp and always raise my pocket pairs preflop.

      when there has been raised in front of u, make sure the raiser has like 20 times the raised left in his stack for the right implied odds.
    • Jim4rdo
      Jim4rdo
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      Joined: 03.10.2010 Posts: 1,252
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      so is it EVER a good idea to fold KK preflop to a 4bet at 2NL FR? i understand people will be playing differently at different limits and definitely at SH but i'm talking about particularly 2NL FR...
      No :)

      Maybe only exception is if you get 2 huge nits going all in before you, or some amazing read on someone else
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
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      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      i suppose so. i asked master veriz and he said to go broke. i was just looking for a reason to fold it in that situation because i keep ending up all in like that knowing it's the best thing to do but also knowing (almost) they most likely have AA and they always do :( feel like im spewing money. o well i will keep going broke with KK in that case!
    • Jim4rdo
      Jim4rdo
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      Joined: 03.10.2010 Posts: 1,252
      Yeh, defo at those limits don't consider folding kk preflop unless you have a really really really good reason.

      SH I OR any PP, maybe tens+ i'll call a 3bet, rest i'll fold, although completely depends on the 3better. Dunno bout FR cos i don't play it apart from rush, when I used to OR and PP again. But I would assume just tighten up a bit, maybe only OR 5+ utg, loosen up round the table?
    • eXtremeACE
      eXtremeACE
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      I play on NL4, and even here people like to go all-in with pocket pairs as small as 22.. so going all-in with KK preflop is deffo +EV move..

      I'm even considering going broke with QQ preflop, but I'm not that sure.. Any opinions?
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
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      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      i suppose i got the case of confirmation bias where i only remember when it happens and they do have AA and forget the times when i bust someone with JJ or QQ lol.

      i recon about the QQ thing it would depend on players stats and also if you're SH or FR... but deffo consider it against some laggy player
    • batukas
      batukas
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      Joined: 04.06.2009 Posts: 34
      Never fold KK preflop on micro limits, as of 22-88 i open raise with these hands because even if u don't hit ur set and flop comes A, K high u can cbet and most of the time take it down right there, if u hit the set, well it's not much to say there. I would advice to never open limp with small poker pairs, just min raise if u don't want to raise more. I tend to min raise any 2 cards early position, sometimes u get 5 callers with AA, but sometimes u take blinds with 22: ) (or take whole stack when u hit 2, because it's very well disguised) If someone raises and there is atleast one caller i call most of the time (in position) unless raise is very big(more then 4 times bb). Well that was just my thoughts, seems to be working for me in micro limits.
      Well i just want to say that in micro limits (and i guess all limits) it is more important to fold ur hand when ur beat.. every fish can bet their set, difficult part is not to pay off.