April 30th, 2012 by Sammy
When you look down at your cards and you see a pocket pair, somehow you get excited with the possibilities as it can make a set and these sets can mean big pay for you. The small pocket pairs can be considered as among the most straight forward hands in no limit hold’em but they present some pitfalls for those who do not know how to use them wisely.
Small pocket pairs hold ground during multiway pots. If you have experienced playing live NL, then you know that there are a lot of times that a number of players draw something out of the flop. Having a small pocket pair is a good advantage since you have a good chance of making sets which will be the best hand for a round. You need to be cautious though since it might not just be you who made a set. If you think everyone will call, go for a raise instead of limping into the pot.
If you have a good position, small pocket pairs can help you during a heads up. In multiway battle for the pot, you will know the real value of the cards when you get a set but in heads up, you have to handle unimproved hands and win the pot so position is very important. Position dictates if you can go for a showdown even if you have a weak pair. You can bet for value and squeeze some extra from your weak hand.
Small pocket pairs do not do well in re-raised pots especially during heads-up. If you opened the betting but an opponent re-raises while everyone else folds, you might be better off by folding your cards. If you have unimproved small pocket pairs, you have a very small chance to win against a re-raise.