Pocket pairs are the most powerful starting hands in Texas. Hold’em, poker. They come up relatively infrequently, but when you get them, you can profit from them significantly if you know how to play poker game properly. If you want to take your poker game to the next level, you’ll want to learn how to win with pocket pairs. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need about pocket pairs and how to maximize your chances of success when you get them. So read on, and soon you’ll win big with pocket pairs!
What are Pocket Pairs?
Pocket Pairs are a type of starting hand in Texas Hold ’em poker. This is when you have been dealt two cards of the same rank, such as two 7s, two Jacks, etc. Pocket pairs are considered some of the game’s most potent hands. When dealt a pocket pair, your chances of winning the hand increase significantly.
The value of a pocket pair increases as the rank of the cards increases. A pair of 2s is less strong than a pair of Kings or Aces. However, even low pairs can be used to your advantage when playing Texas Hold ’em.
Pocket pairs can be fascinating, allowing you to win big pots. A pocket pair can easily take down the pot if no one else has a strong hand. But if another player has an even higher pocket pair, you’ll need to play smart and try to outplay them to win.
Usually, pocket pairs are divided into three categories, premium pocket pairs, medium pocket pairs, and low pocket pairs.
Highest to Lowest Pair in a Game of Poker
In a game of Texas Hold ’em, there are 13 types of pocket pairs. The lowest pair being 2-2 and the highest being A-A. They are divided into three categories:
Categorizing pocket pairs:
It is interesting to note that the odds of being dealt a pair is only 5.9%. Moreover, the odds of being dealt an A-A pair is only 0.45%.
Premium Pocket Pairs
As discussed above, premium poker players are- A-A, K-K, Q-Q, and J-J. These pairs are strong in any position pre-flop. Players can easily choose to 4-bet to a smaller pocket pair or an aggressor holding such as A-K.
To gain protection and value, players must always 3-bet their premium pocket pairs. Another thing you must be mindful of when playing premium pocket players is that you want something other than a 3-way action post-flop, even with a hand like Q-Q. Instead, it is important to get to the flop heads-up.
Medium Pocket Pairs
Medium pocket pairs are usually 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8. Medium poker pairs are usually about making sets on the flop. The odds of flopping a set in medium pocket pairs every time is 10-11%, so it would be in your best interest to call in an early position.
Small Pocket Pairs
Small pocket pairs are good as a starting hand; a player must dump most of them in the game’s early stages. Hands like 2-2 to 5-5 should be folded to any late position raise. The lowest small pocket pair is 2-2.
Odds of Being Dealt a Pair
While playing poker, it is important to be aware of the odds of being dealt a pair so that you can strategize accordingly. Here we have mentioned the odds of various pairs, from premium pocket pairs to small pocket pairs:
Any pocket pair (2-2 to A-A): 17-1 (5.9%)
8-8 to A-A: 31-1 (3.2%)
J-J to A-A: 54-1 (1.8%)
A-A: 220-1 (0.45%)
Odds of Flopping Two Pairs or a Set
Next, you must be aware of the odds of flopping two pairs or a set. Even in the lowest pair in poker, when you have a pocket pair, the odds of flopping are just under 11% or 15-2. However, when you hit two pairs, this percentage jumps to 16.1%.
Odds of Hitting the Flop When Holding a Pocket Pair:
Two Pair: 16.1%
Full House (Set to your pocket pair, plus a board pair): 0.7%
Full House (Set on the flop plus your pocket pair): 0.2%
Four of a Kind: 0.2%
Things to Consider While Playing Pocket Pairs
When playing pocket pairs, it’s essential to consider your position, stack size, and the players you are up against. Your position will determine how likely you are to be called or raised. If you’re in a late position, meaning you are the last to act, you will often be able to see how everyone else has acted before making your move. This can be a big advantage as it allows you to make a more informed decision about how to play your pocket pair.
Stack size is also an important factor when playing pocket pairs. If your stack is short, folding your pocket pair pre-flop may be a good idea unless you have a very strong hand. On the other hand, if you have a large stack size, call with a weaker pocket pair to see the flop and potentially hit a monster.
Finally, the opponents you are up against should also be considered when playing pocket pairs. For example, if tight players are at the table, you will have less room to maneuver and need to be more selective with your hands. On the other hand, if there are loose players, you should take more risks with your pocket pairs since they are likely to pay off in this type of environment.
All these factors should be taken into consideration when playing pocket pairs. By doing so, you can ensure that you are making the most of your pocket pairs and improving your chances of winning.
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