Playing Pocket Pairs in Texas Holdem
Texas Holdem is the most popular poker game at all of the best online poker sites and there isn’t much better then being dealt high pocket pairs while playing even though it doesn’t happen that often. High pocket pairs are excellent starting hands in Holdem, but low pocket pairs can cause a lot of trouble and aren’t really that good of a starting hand. We’re going to look at the strategy you should use when you play high pocket pairs and low pocket pairs.
High Pocket Pairs – AA/JJ
Being dealt a high pocket pair in Holdem at Full Tilt is a great starting hand and you should definitely raise the pot preflop. Some players will recommend slow playing with high pocket pairs, but the problem with that is any two cards can limp in and you could be losing after the flop depending on what comes. There is also no reason to limp into the pot and let people see the flop for cheap because you want be increasing the size of the pot. I would suggest raising the pot 3-4X the big blind which is a typical raise and should have a couple callers. Depending on what the flop brings you’ll need to decide whether you can afford to slow play or whether you need to take the pot down now. If you hit a set or there are no draws after the flop then often your high pair will still be good, but when there are draws present you should think about taking the pot down right away before the draw hits.
Middle Pocket Pairs – 1010/88
Any pocket pair of 8’s, 9’s or 10’s is a good starting hand and you could raise the pot, but the problem is if you get called chances are your opponent will have two over cards at least. With two over cards they could easily hit a higher pair then you have on Titan Poker after the flop so be careful about committing to many chips with this hand. I would suggest checking out the flop to see if the cards are lower then your pocket pair. If the flop is 2-3-7 with 3 different suits then chances are you still will have the best hand because it would be hard to believe anyone calling a raise with a 2/3 or something like that.
Low Pocket Pairs – 77/22
Low pocket pairs aren’t really that powerful in a Holdem poker online game and you shouldn’t raise the pot preflop with any low pocket pair. According to the latest poker strategy research, your chances of winning the pot are fairly slim unless you just steal the pot with a big bet which isn’t going to make you any money. The only way you’re going to make money with low pocket pairs is if you hit a set and your opponent is sitting with a big pair or two pairs. The chances of hitting a set aren’t that great, but you should still try and see the flop if you can limp into the pot just in case you do hit the set because then you can usually get paid off in a big hand.