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FL: Small Pocket Pairs

by jorgozjamz

With a pocket pair, you are usually holding the best hand before the flop. Even with 22, your are a slight favourite against AK. With a probability of 12 percent, you will flop a set which usually means you can correctly play the hand without any problems until the end.

Most of the time, you will be stuck with a weak made hand, though. In contrast to flopped pairs, a pocket pair only has two outs to improve. You will improve to a set by the river in only 9 percent of all cases. In that light, it's more convenient to flop a middle pair than being left with a pocket pair for second pair. You will hardly ever get the odds to draw with your pocket pair.

The smaller the pocket pair and the more opponents you face, the more probable it becomes that another player flops a pair higher than yours. Today's quiz will deal exclusively with playing small and medium pocket pair. There is no single concept that helps you handle these kind of situations; you always have to estimate the situation and to decide which concept to apply on your own.

Good luck!

Question 1:

Limit: $0.5/$1

Opponents:
UTG = LPA
BU = LAG (tricky, bluffy, sometimes irrational)

Pre-flop: You are MP3 with 9Spade , 9Heart (6 players)
UTG calls, You raise, CO calls, BU calls, 1 fold, BB calls, UTG calls

Flop: (10,5 SB) QSpade , 6Diamond , 3Heart (5 players)
UTG checks, You bet, 1 fold, BU calls, 1 fold, UTG calls

Turn: (6,75 BB) 8Club (3 players)
UTG checks, You bet, BU raises, 1 fold, You?

On a table full with fish, you try to isolate the UTG open-limper who plays every third hand. Unfortunately, it's hard to get rid of the other players and you end up in a multi-way pot on the flop. Your continuation bet gets called by two opponents and the BU suddenly raises on the turn, making UTG fold. You've already seen the BU make some weird bluffs before, so you have to decide: raise, call down or fold?

fold
raise
call

Question 2:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
CO = TAG

Pre-flop: You are SB with 9Spade , 9Diamond (6 players)
2 folds, CO raises, 1 fold, You 3-bet, 1 fold, CO calls

Flop: (7 SB) ASpade , 8Club , 3Heart (2 players)
You bet, CO calls

Turn: (4,5 BB) 4Diamond (2 players)
You bet, CO calls

River: (6,5 BB) 4Heart (2 players)
You?


You defend your small blind against a CO open-raiser by 3-betting with your pocket nines. The opponent is a solid player and the ace on the flop could easily have hit his range. He seems to go for a calldown; what's your plan for the river?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold

Question 3:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
unknown

Pre-flop: You are BU with 3Spade , 3Heart (6 players)
3 folds, You raise, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: (4,5 SB) 4Heart , 7Club , JDiamond (2 players)
BB checks, You bet, BB calls

Turn: (3,25 BB) 7Spade (2 players)
BB bets, You?

You attack the big blind with a small pocket pair. The opponent suddenly donks after the board pairs on the turn. How do you react?

fold
call
raise

Question 4:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
BB = 38/15/1.3/42

Pre-flop: You are SB with 4Spade , 4Diamond (6 players)
4 folds, You raise, BB calls

Flop: (4 SB) 7Heart , THeart , 3Spade (2 players)
You bet, BB calls

Turn: (3 BB) QDiamond (2 players)
You bet, BB calls

River: (5 BB) 2Club (2 players)
You?

You attack the big blind with your 44 after all other players have folded. You bet the flop with 3rd pair in order to protect your hand and in spite of the overcard, you bet again on the turn. You however get called each time. How do you play the river?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold

Question 5:

Limit: $0.5/$1

Opponent:
UTG = unknown

Pre-flop: You are BB with 5Spade , 5Club (6 players)
UTG raises, 4 folds, You call

Flop: (4,5 SB) QHeart , TClub , 8Heart (2 players)
You check, UTG checks

Turn: (2,25 BB) QDiamond (2 players)
You bet, CO calls

River: (4,25 BB) 8Spade (2 players)
You?

You've defended the big blind with 55 against an unknown opponent. The flop doesn't help you and you intend on check/folding, but the opponent checks behind. On the turn, the highest card on the board pairs, so you decide to bet the turn after UTG has shown weakness on the flop and the turn card doesn't help him. You want to avoid a free card for potential gutshots, after all. Unfortunately, the river pairs the board for the second time, so your pocket pair turns completely worthless. What's your line?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold

Question 6:

Limit: $0.5/$1

Opponent:
CO = 40/27/2.5/42

Preflop: You are BB with 6Spade , 6Diamond (6 players)
1 fold, MP3 calls, CO raises, BU calls, 1 fold, You call, MP3 calls

Flop:. (8.5 SB) 5Diamond , QClub , 3Diamond (4 players)
You?

You get the chance again to see the flop in a multi-way pot for a mere small bet. Unfortunately, the flop is rather drawy and includes an overcard in the playing zone. You are first to act - how do you proceed?

bet
check

Question 7:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
CO = 40/25/2.3/42

Preflop: You are UTG with 7Spade , 7Club (6 players)
You raise, 1 fold, CO calls, 3 folds

Flop: (5.5 SB) JSpade , 8Club , 4Heart (2 players)
You bet, CO calls

Turn: (3.75 BB) JClub (2 players)
You?

 

According to the ORC, you open-raise 77 and a LAG behind you cold-calls. The LAG is rather bluffy, but not really a bad player. He also calls your conti-bet on the flop. The turn pairs the highest card on the board - what's your place here?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold
check/raise

Question 8:

Limit: $0.5/$1

Opponents:
CO = tight-passive, rest unknown

Pre-flop: You are BB with 8Spade , 8Club (6 players)
1 fold, MP3 calls, CO raises, BU calls, 1 fold, You call

Flop: (8,5 SB) 3Heart , 3Spade , 7Club (4 players)
You?


For just a small bet, you welcome taking a look at the flop in a 4-handed pot with your 88. The flop isn't too bad as it shows up with a paired board and only low cards. Donk-bet or check to take a look at the action and potentially check-raise?

bet
check

Question 9:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
UTG = 38/25/1.8/40

Pre-flop: You are SB with 9Heart , 9Diamond (6 players)
UTG raises, 3 folds, You 3-bet, 1 fold, UTG calls

Flop: (7 SB) JHeart , 8Diamond , 7Club (2 players)
You bet, UTG calls

Turn: (4.5 BB) KHeart (2 players)
You?

You 3-bet a LAG who open-raised from early position with your pocket nines. While the flop looks relatively good, the turn shows up with a second overcard. Should you bet again or slow down now?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold
check/raise

Question 10:

Limit: $1/$2

Opponent:
BU = 34/26/2.2/38

Pre-flop: You are CO with 6Club , 6Diamond (6 players)
2 folds, You raise, BU 3-bets, 2 folds, You call

Flop: (7.5 SB) KDiamond , JDiamond , 4Spade (2 players)
You check, BU bets, You call

Turn:. (4.75 BB) 5Club (2 players)
You?


You decide to open-raise 66 from the CO and get a 3-bet from the BU, which you naturally called. You decide to call again on the flop and the turn shows up with a blank. What's your decision now?

bet/call
bet/fold
check/call
check/fold
check/raise