Texas Holdem: How to Play Small and Medium Pocket Pairs

Of the hundreds of starting hands in Texas Holdem, none of them drives a Texas Holdem player crazier than a small or medium pocket pair. Most Texas Holdem players do not know how to play these pocket pairs when dealt. This article should give you some insight into how to play pocket pairs if you are Texas Holdem player.

High pocket pairs in Texas Holdem are generally the easiest to play. If you are fortunate enough to be dealt pocket Aces, pocket Kings, pocket Queens, or pocket Jacks, you should consider yourself lucky. These high pairs almost always call for a raise or even a re-raise in some cases. If you are dealt a pocket pair any lower than pocket Jacks in Texas Holdem, you need to start thinking about how to play that hand.

Smaller pocket pairs in Texas Holdem such as pocket twos through pocket nines can become very powerful hands should you hit your set on the flop. If you can play these types of small pocket pairs without spending a lot of money or chips, then by all means do so. In the event that you flop a set, you are in pretty good shape. The best case scenario in Texas Holdem is if you flop a set of say, threes, with an Ace also coming down on the table during the flop. This would mean that anybody holding an Ace would think they probably have the best hand not knowing you have already flopped a set.

My preferred method of play when I flop a set in Texas Holdem is to simply check the flop and allow someone else who thinks they have a strong hand to bet. When the bet comes around to me, I will raise them slightly. This gives the appearance that I may be bluffing so if the person I have raised actually has a strong hand, he is likely to re-raise me. If this occurs, I simply re-raise him again to put him all in. It is times like this when you can take all of your opponent’s chips. This is known as the check-raise and it is very powerful. It also applies in playing pkv games online. Using this check-raise can be really helpful for you to be successful in the game.

I prefer to use the Texas Holdem check-raise when I can any time I have flopped a set. However, if I am dealt pocket nines or better, I will generally raise pre-flop to chase out anyone who may be fishing. If I hold pocket nines or higher and get re-raised, I simply call in most cases unless I have pocket aces or pocket kings. In those instances I will re-raise all in and usually take my opponent’s money or chips.

As you can see, small and medium pocket pairs in Texas Holdem can be difficult to play. However, if you play them smartly, these kinds of hands can really turn into monsters. When they do, Texas Holdem can become very profitable!