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Remember This Poker lesson on Low Pairs When Choosing a Starting Hand

There are numerous ways to play pocket pairs, such as low (2-7), middle (8-9) and high (10-10). Discover each style and its pros and cons.

As a general rule, to play pocket pairs we want a hand that beats other pocket pairs, preferably in a nice tight pattern. The best way to do this is to play a hand that is a classic baseball line stand!

Pocket Pairs: How to Play and Win

Let's say you limp into a pot with 4-7 off suit. What should you do? If you've been playing too many 7s, limping in with 2-7 is kind of the same thing. You want to be very selective about these hands so that you don't get stubborn picks. Limping in with less than premium hands is a quick way to trouble. You'll find that most of the time your opponent will have something like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, or a pair of 10s. Very occasionally they'll toss in a KQ or a portion of a small blind. Now you are most likely thinking about folding your hand based on the fact that it's not the hand you were raising with, however, this isn't the case should you observe this poker course or watch the related videos.

Remember that in this situation you were called by a tight player. The closer you get to the point where you are a good player, the less hands you should bring into the pot. You also need to remember that other players will probably be raising the pot against you with very weak hands. Keep this in mind. If theres less than 3 people in the pot, it's a good idea to shove all your hands in there for value.

Pocket Pairs: How to Play and Win

Whatever you do, don't get too comfortable with playing these hands early on. The most common mistake with low pocket pairs is to limp and see a flop with them. This is a very dangerous play. The flop is most likely not going to be there with low pockets to gamble, but the low blind may bet anyway. Even if you do hit your set, you're most likely dominated if your opponent hits 2 pair or has a better ace.

Unless you are holding the oddsmaker on the button, a premium hand or are large stack in a tournament, be more particular in starting hand selection. Here's a few choices that make sense:

  • If you have a mid pocket pair, stick to a more lowly pocket pair in the later positions. You have the advantage of not having other people aiming to hit a high pocket pair.
  • If you're in late position and everyone before you folds or calls, look at the flop and don't be greatly worried by it -- just make a small bet to try and take down the pot. Either way you can get a free card from the pot later on.
  • When you have middle/low cards and no one after yours folds, then you can play around a bit more. Especially if there are cards higher than yours on the table, you will have a better chance of stealing the pot.
  • Try and draw a low or middle pocket pair. You have about a 35% chance of hitting a card of that rank or higher. So make a small bet here to see the flop.
  • If you're in the small blind and it's folded around to you, always make a bet here. It might seem a bit loose but trust me when I say that most people never call a small blind trap.
  • When you are in the big blind and there are no raises in front of you, a raise probably means a strong hand. So raise!
  • Try and limp in low blind situations. With a minimum of 2 people behind you it's not going to be too costly to call a small bet.
  • If you're in the small blind and no one else has raised the pot, and only you and a tight player are in the pot, make a small bet here to see the flop.
  • If there are no blinds and you are in late position, you can call a small bet here to see the flop.
  • Better yet, you can limp in with a trash hand and find a straight or flush.
  • You can play low blinds in a similar manner, always raising the bar.
  • Never call a pre-flop raise that contains only low blinds.
  • Always raise the blinds in deposit 15 bonus 30.
  • If you call and get no help from the flop, check the turn.
  • If you check the turn it becomes a huge hand in the tonight's pot.