Pocketpairs in SB/BB

    • ggiants81
      ggiants81
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.02.2012 Posts: 126
      Hi there.
      I'm interested in hearing you guys out on how you play you're pocketpairs (say 22-99) from the blinds.
      Do you resteal/3bet them or do you flat call ?.

      I'm doing som reading and it seems to be two schools here. The callers and the 3bets.
      Personally I think I like the 3bet strategy since you fold out a lot of steals and you build the pot for the few times you actually hit the set and if you miss it's an easy fold. And maybe add some c/r bluffs once in a while.

      Is this the general opinion?
  • 18 replies
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
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      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      Adjust based on the stealer. You sometimes call, you sometimes 3bet.
    • PriscoInline
      PriscoInline
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      Joined: 05.05.2012 Posts: 326
      I tend to 3bet smaller pocket pairs, specially if I'm deep, while I tend to flat the higher ones. The line depends on the stealer though.

      The smaller PPs are more hidden when you hit a set if you 3bet, imo.
    • ggiants81
      ggiants81
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.02.2012 Posts: 126
      Ok, fair enough, but if you guys do one thing or another depending on the stealer.
      What separates the lines, IF stealer has XX stat I 3bet but if he has YY stat I tend to call instead.?
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
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      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      Originally posted by ggiants81
      Ok, fair enough, but if you guys do one thing or another depending on the stealer.
      What separates the lines, IF stealer has XX stat I 3bet but if he has YY stat I tend to call instead.?
      What is the point of 3betting someone who doesn't fold to 3bets?
      What is the point calling if someone folds too much to 3bets?
    • booomm
      booomm
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      Joined: 22.03.2011 Posts: 677
      . double post plz delete
    • booomm
      booomm
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      Joined: 22.03.2011 Posts: 677
      to answer your question, it really depends on alot of stuff.
      you should take into consideration various stats, most important is how much he opens on the BU/SB (UO%PFR on hem and RFI on pt I think) along with his fold to 3bet, 4b%/4b range might be helpfull too. to take an example, if you get someone openning 50% otb and defending 70% vs resteals than he is def defending too wide, so you can 3b 99 88 and even maybe 77 for value vs him, and all othr options (fold call or 3b) are valid for lower pocket pairs depending on the size of his open and his postflop tendencies, vs min raise obv snap call 22-66, vs 3x just fold or 3b and be ready to turn them into a bluff postflop and take some funky lines.[/quote]
    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      Im not a fan of 3betting 88-100 without reads that I can 5b shove as these hands are too strong to 3b fold and also don't really play that well OOP in bloated pots.

      If we know villain flats the 3bet with pairs up to say TT/JJ and 4bets frequently then we can 3b/5b all pairs as when he 4bets his range is weighted heavily towards BWs and bluffs with so few combos of pairs that beat us. FE+PE makes the play profitable but high variance.

      But you the need the correct reads and dynamic to do this.

      If villian is 4b calling 77+ then I usually 3b/5b a notch higher, eg 99+

      One factor I feel not many players take into account is what I call Emotional EV (EEV). This is the affect losing pots during high variance plays will affect you mentally for the rest of the session and effect your future EV.

      If you are tilt prone your EEV is low and you should avoid these situations. If you have good emotional control then 5b away :)
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
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      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,084
      It's also a matter of stack size. If 3-betting means getting in something like 9-10% of the stack, then it is probably a mistake. (I got this line of reasoning from Sklansky's "No Limit Hold'em - Theory and Practice") Playing a 3-bet pot OOP with a small pp is tricky.
    • bchan
      bchan
      Basic
      Joined: 17.06.2014 Posts: 3
      3-betting with 22-99 OOP is dependent on 2 things.

      - Fold Equity of Villain - If fold equity of Villain is low AND if you are set mining, then you are only going to hit 1/7.5 times. Therefore being OOP it doesn't make sense.
      - Stack sizes of Villain - If the stack size of Villain is not 30 times of the open bet, then there is no point cause even if you 3-bet every small PP OOP, on average you only hit 1/7.5 times and thus not profitable against short stacks.
    • ShadDoneWin
      ShadDoneWin
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      Joined: 18.08.2012 Posts: 161
      I think Hackett77 answers this super well. I just want to add something to it.

      If your limit is <50 NL I wouldn't worry about a villains 4 bet range carrying to much air. It really is going to be the top 10% of his range. Ergo I'd definitely carry 3 bets in my arsenal for all PP's.

      Like some have said, you need to look at a villains fold to 3 bet/fold to resteal/3 bet calling range when making your decision. However contrary to what Riharda said, there is merit in 3 betting villains that call 3 bets too much, as you're more than likely ahead of their 3 bet calling range and simply getting more money in the pot for when you hit a set. It'll also make you more confident at post flop play.

      gl! :)
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
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      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      Originally posted by ShadDoneWin

      Like some have said, you need to look at a villains fold to 3 bet/fold to resteal/3 bet calling range when making your decision. However contrary to what Riharda said, there is merit in 3 betting villains that call 3 bets too much, as you're more than likely ahead of their 3 bet calling range and simply getting more money in the pot for when you hit a set. It'll also make you more confident at post flop play.

      gl! :)
      when you have 22-66 and you 3bet someone who is gonna too much, you have pretty much reverse implied odds. If you hit a set you will not be getting payed off like almost never because they will maybe float once and then fold unless they have a set which most likely will have you dominated. And when you don't hit a set, you are still pretty much not ahead of villains range PLUS you are OOP which the play even more difficult. Position = Money. If you want to put yourself in spots where you will in longterm lose more money, it's up to you.
    • HuhtalaJ
      HuhtalaJ
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      Joined: 19.04.2010 Posts: 7,166
      Originally posted by ShadDoneWin
      However contrary to what Riharda said, there is merit in 3 betting villains that call 3 bets too much, as you're more than likely ahead of their 3 bet calling range and simply getting more money in the pot for when you hit a set. It'll also make you more confident at post flop play.
      If the villain calls a lot of 3bets and is really passive on the postflop and let's you see cheap showdowns often, then it could be profitable to 3bet a lot of different kinds of hands with showdown value. Also, if the villain calls a lot of 3bets and folds a ton to cbets, it would be profitable to 3bet loads of hands, others than pocket pairs too. However, if the villain is somewhat decent at postflop and gives the sligthest pressure when you want the cheap showdown and doesn't fold a lot, then 3betting small pockets is only going to make your life at the table hard and cost you money like Riharda said.

      Often preflop equity alone isn't good enough measure for the best or even +EV action. Playability plays a huge role as well and the bigger the stacks the bigger the role.
    • AtrociousNightmare
      AtrociousNightmare
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      Joined: 14.04.2010 Posts: 1,185
      Originally posted by ggiants81
      Hi there.
      I'm interested in hearing you guys out on how you play you're pocketpairs (say 22-99) from the blinds.
      Do you resteal/3bet them or do you flat call ?.

      I'm doing som reading and it seems to be two schools here. The callers and the 3bets.
      Personally I think I like the 3bet strategy since you fold out a lot of steals and you build the pot for the few times you actually hit the set and if you miss it's an easy fold. And maybe add some c/r bluffs once in a while.

      Is this the general opinion?
      I assume you are talking about 6max.
      For me it depends on the limit.
      But until NL100 I am "monstrously exploitable", in the sense I call with all of them.
      Not exactly all of them but I won't go into range detail.

      The thing is, playing a low-mid pocket in a 3b pot out of position is just plainly painful and more exploitable than a preflop range.
      Except for those rare times in which you set (and you have to pray that you set on a nice board 'cos you are OOP vs a restricted range) the rest of the time you are standing in the awful position where you have showdown value but you don't know how much and you can't extract information unless you spend A LOT of blinds (again, OOP). Your only hope is a 0 AF opponent that lets you check down.
      And guess how many there are of those even on lower limits. Yeah. Not many.

      On a small pot however (if you call preflop) you can pull off more plays and extract more information at a minor price, and most of all you can just fold knowing you didn't invest much at all.

      Another advantage is if you just call with them on SB you have a chance BB will call as well giving you a nice set mining on a multiway.

      Downsides?
      Well of course people could figure out over time that you are not 3betting them preflop therefore you'd have a slightly more predictable range postflop when you play with other hands.
      But in all honesty, they'd need a huge number of hands on you, they'd need to pay close attention AND take notes, AND be able to adapt.
      How many of those are in limits between 2 and 100?
      Yeah. Not many. If at all.

      Generally, before they have a chance to figure it out you already leveled up and they won't see you again.


      Of course I'm ruling out exception players like the ones you have autoprofit against with 3bets or that they call everything preflop but you can autoprofit on their fold to cbet. In that and other extreme cases you adapt and 3b preflop.
    • Superbrain
      Superbrain
      Basic
      Joined: 29.06.2013 Posts: 167
      easy call. out of position and you shd give a wide calling range to make it hard for hand readers.

      that said, 3 bet against someone who plays fit or fold is fine. on the presumption that your current read is accurate.
    • NezNanec
      NezNanec
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.03.2011 Posts: 85
      Well the main reason why I play smal PP SB or BB is to turn them into bluffs. Your sets are almost never going to be profitable, because villains will open late so wide you're mostly getting just 1 or maybe 2 streets or value.

      So the main thing you are interested here is how much villain will fold to cbet and turn cbet in 3bet pots, how much he float, how much he folds to c/r...Mainly if you think you can outplay him postflop most of the time you should 3bet.

      I would only flat against opponents that are passive postflop or exploitable in some way (let's say they fold to c/r too much or are easily floatable).

      This goes for 99 or lower, TT+ I'm mostly 3betting for value, and then further action depends on the villain...

      You have to find a gameplan you are comfortable with though, I just find that sometimes I'm more comfortable folding 44 in the SB vs a late open than trying to take down a bloated pot...
    • AtrociousNightmare
      AtrociousNightmare
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      Joined: 14.04.2010 Posts: 1,185
      Originally posted by NezNanec
      Well the main reason why I play smal PP SB or BB is to turn them into bluffs. Your sets are almost never going to be profitable, because villains will open late so wide you're mostly getting just 1 or maybe 2 streets or value.

      So the main thing you are interested here is how much villain will fold to cbet and turn cbet in 3bet pots, how much he float, how much he folds to c/r...Mainly if you think you can outplay him postflop most of the time you should 3bet.

      I would only flat against opponents that are passive postflop or exploitable in some way (let's say they fold to c/r too much or are easily floatable).

      This goes for 99 or lower, TT+ I'm mostly 3betting for value, and then further action depends on the villain...

      You have to find a gameplan you are comfortable with though, I just find that sometimes I'm more comfortable folding 44 in the SB vs a late open than trying to take down a bloated pot...
      That's a very dangerous approach, as mid pocket pairs are not blockers, and the only outs you have are for sets, that might not be enough in a case of heavy yet followed bluff like that.
      I've never been a fan of turning those into bluffs.
      Still better than any two cards, but not that far from it.
    • NezNanec
      NezNanec
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      Joined: 15.03.2011 Posts: 85
      @AtrociousNightmare

      Yes, I only do this against people that I can outplay postflop, or people that fold to much to 3bets in late position, against unknowns and better opponents I'll fold small pockets in SB and defend BB, but those spots can't really be generalized...

      The main problem with this bluffs is as you stated after a villain calls my flop cbet, I can't fire a 2nd barrel without an exploitative read and will mostly just have to give up.
    • MaxLange
      MaxLange
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      Joined: 20.09.2014 Posts: 195
      sometimes I do 3 bet to balance my range, or it will be very obvius that I only cold call with small pairs.