Explaining Pocket Pairs and How to Play Poker Online

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Pairs are probably the most exciting pocket cards in Texas Hold’em poker. You have a ready-made hand pre-flop, and you can extract decent value post-flop if you play them correctly.

Explaining Pocket Pairs and How to Play Poker Online

But many novice players overestimate the power of their poker pairs. Plus, they might fail to get the maximum value out of their small and medium pairs. We’ll show you how to make the most of your poker hand and avoid common pitfalls.

Highest to Lowest Pair in a Game of Poker

There are a possible 13 types of pocket pairs you’ll get in a daftar idnpoker game of Texas Hold’em. The lowest pair in poker is obviously 2-2, the highest pair being A-A.

But it’s important to understand what constitutes a premium pair, a medium pair and a low pair in your starting hand. Your tactics with pocket pairs will change according to seat position and your opponents. However, in general you should call small and medium pairs in late position when facing a single raise. In early position, don’t be afraid to call if you get value, or just muck them.

For premium pairs, you are in good shape to attack every flop. Raise pre-flop, or re-raise from any position if facing a raiser.

Premium Pairs

  • A-A
  • K-K
  • Q-Q
  • J-J

Medium Pairs

  • 10-10
  • 9-9
  • 8-8
  • 7-7
  • 6-6

Small Pairs

  • 5-5
  • 4-4
  • 3-3
  • 2-2

Categorizing Pocket Pairs and How to Play Them

While it seems like you get dealt pairs a lot, the actual odds of receiving any pocket pair is just 5.9%. You’ll remember the times you got dealt A-A when playing poker online, but in actual fact you only receive them 0.45% of the time.

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So, how should you be betting the lowest pair in a poker game, and what should you do with your kings and aces to make the most money? Let’s break the different pairs down.

Premium Pocket Pairs

Key Points: Raise or re-raise in any position

You’ll see from our list that premium poker pairs are A-A, K-K, Q-Q and J-J. These play well in any position pre-flop, and you can easily 4-bet to an aggressor holding A-K or a smaller pocket pair.

You should always 3-bet your premium pocket pairs to gain value and protection. You also want to get to the flop heads-up. Even with a hand like Q-Q, you don’t want 3-way action post-flop.

In some circumstances, you can simply call Q-Q in the hope of hitting a low flop. It’s a good disguised hand that may bring in more money from A-K, A-Q, A-J etc.

Medium Pocket Pairs

Key Points: Call all pairs in early position; raise in late position

Getting paid with medium poker pairs is about making sets on the flop. You’re about 10-11% to flop a set every time, so don’t be afraid to call in early position. You can also throw out a raise in late position in order to thin the field.

Essentially, you want a good price to call with a pocket pair that has set-mining potential. That is, a pocket pair that might connect and make three of a kind on the flop. You should be happy to call a sizeable pre-flop raise with pairs such as 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8.

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Small Pocket Pairs

Key Points: Fold in early position to a raise; call big blind and late position

Small pocket pairs might look nice as a starting hand, but you should be dumping most of them in early position. Certainly, hands like 2-2 to 5-5 should be folded to any LP raise.

You can raise in late position, but make your raises big. This scares off any marginal hands that might call and connect on the flop.

The lowest pair in poker is 2-2. You can sometimes call pre-flop in late position in the hope of hitting a set. But in general, hands like 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 don’t play so well post-flop unless you are set-mining.