Things to Consider Before You Play Your Pair in Poker

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You’re going to come up against a lot of different scenarios when playing poker. The top rated online poker sites, for instance, you can take your pick of cash games, tournaments or satellites. Plus, you can hit live poker rooms across the US and enjoy a range of exciting Hold’em variants.

It’s easy to understand how to play pocket kings, whatever discipline you choose. But you need to consider a range of factors to make the best decisions.

Things to Consider Before You Play Your Pair in Poker

Luckily, there is a wealth of resource material poker88 asia online today. You can join a coaching program or pay for training and get a firm grounding in how to play poker.

To start, find a simple cheat sheet or pre-flop chart which will show you how to play pocket pairs in all positions in most poker variants, whether it be standard poker (5-card draw poker), Texas Hold’em or whatever your favorite game might be.

In general, it’s good to consider four key factors when learning how to play pocket pairs:

Stack Size

Your chips will have a huge impact on how you play your pairs. For example, early on in a tournament with a lot of chips behind you, you won’t be raising with the lowest pair. In a poker game, your decision will largely be based on your stack size.

So, if you have 500 big blinds, you’ll be folding your small pairs in early position. However, if you have 5-10 big blinds and you’re first to act, you may decide to move all-in. The value of hitting a set outweighs the odds of you losing your chips and busting out.

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In general, you need to be making 15-20 times your pre-flop bet size in the hand. So, if you wager £/$/€100 pre-flop with your pocket kings, there should be £/$/€1,500-£/$/€2,000 left in yours and the opponent’s stacks.


Pairs have different values depending upon your position. The key thing to remember is that you won’t have information if you raise in early position. If you raise 3-3 in early position and face a re-raise, you’re wasting good money.

On the button, however, you can comfortably call an open raise with even the lowest pair in poker.

You can also call the big blind, too. You have the final action pre-flop, and you may have the correct price to call. It’s a win-win situation for small pairs.

Conversely, you should avoid just flat-calling your small pairs when in the small blind. Pay attention to the type of player in the big blind, however. If they are prone to a squeeze play, you may want to muck your hand.

Tournaments vs Cash Games

Playing pocket pairs varies depending on the type of game you’re playing. Pairs often get played differently in a tournament or cash game setting.

For example, you might be able to open-raise most small pairs in tournaments only if the stacks are huge. You’ll have enough chips to get away from the hand if you miss.

Plus, if there are antes in play you can increase your raising range with all pairs in any position. The value you are extracting goes up and makes a raise a more sensible move.

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But in a cash game where the stacks may be even, you may face way too many callers to make the move profitable. It’s more sensible to call more pairs pre-flop in cash games where you can set-mine for value. In a multiway cash pot, it’s easier to fold if you miss, especially if there are over-cards on the board.

It’s also good to compare full-ring games versus 6-max tables. In a full-ring game, you should probably fold out most small pairs in early position. However, in a 6-max game, you can comfortably raise all of your pairs, even if you have the lowest pair in a game of poker.

Why? Because pairs have much more value in a short-handed game. Obviously, be wary of having lots of loose opponents on your table who may throw in a 3-bet or 4-bet from behind.