Poker Strategy – Small Pocket Pairs

Don’t Overvalue Your Small Pocket Pairs

First of all, I want to say that pocket pairs are Awesome. You put the small ones on the button and raise with Q-7 (note: 7 is a low card, by the way, despite what anyone says). You flop a small flush and win a nice pot. However, you never won a big pot with your small pair. You lost a little money and made some bad decisions based on your small pair.

Let me say, however, that Q-7 is a great hand. Heck, it’s one of the best hands. But it’s not unbeatable. And neither is it particularly easy to get. So, while I love pocket 7’s myself, I will often times play other people’s Q-7’s, especially someone’s multi-way pot odds into my 7’s. (Not that I am necessarily saying you should just play Q-7 all the time, that would be a mistake. But if you were playing a pot with 4 other people and had 4 multi-way pots, it might be worth a few hands before getting crazy with your 7’s.)

Small pocket pairs are also known as cat hands, Flying First Class, monsters, knuckleheads, wheel of fish and whatnot. They’re not very strong and, if you are playing them from early position, you are definitely behind. From middle to late, no problem. But if you raise with 6-5 and get a call from the button, what are you supposed to do with 7-5? Throw it away? I attend a lot of 7-5 limit games and, whenever I get those hands, I seem to always get thrown away. raises, re-raises, and whatnot.

Playing as position plays a big role with small pocket pairs. Why? Easy: you can get into a hand later than other people and it is much easier to gauge your Q-7’s strength compared to other people’s. Wow, you have A-6 and there’s a Q-7 on the table. Middle to late position, this is a hand you can see yourself making a move with. If you have A-6 and the flop is A-3-7, you are pretty sure you are behind. But if the flop comes Q-7-2, it is harder to gauge where you stand. You might be second to a better hand, not sure, but you could certainly make this hand work.

Small pocket pairs can win big pots. If you raise before the flop with your small pair and get a call, it is very hard for your opponents to know what you have. They might think you have an Ace or something (which would make you pretty sexy, if you were in a far-off foreign country far from sexy people and ultra-smarter people in rocking chairs watching you play your beautiful, Although hopefully not porn stars, hand after hand.) And you might just throw away that small pair and make a face at the pot, confident you called the flop with the best hand.

Small pocket pairs can be beautiful, dangerous, elusive, and luck. You will see the flop with a small pocket pair and it won’t hurt to play it out. I am not saying play every hand, because that is foolish. But play your domino88 pairs strong because you will win big pots when you’re beat.