Pocket pairs are a great hand to have in poker, and can easily win multiple streets if they don’t hit. They are often used as bluffs by experienced players looking to create value against weaker opponents. However, pocket pairs can also be a trap for newer players who over-bet them too often. Here, you will learn some of these situations, so you can make better decisions when playing with a pocket pair.
You Should Only Bet When The Board Is Very Coordinated
First of all, you should only bet with pocket pairs when the board is very coordinated. A lot of players will raise with them, regardless of what’s on the board in your game. That’s usually not a good idea because if you’re up against someone who has pocket rockets (AA or KK), they’ll almost always beat you unless there are two pairs or better on the flop.
In that case, you need to make sure that your opponent doesn’t have any other hands that can beat yours, right before raising them off their hand and pushing them out of the pot by making them commit all of their chips.
Call With Pocket Pairs If Your Opponent Is Betting Aggressively
You should never be afraid to call with pocket pairs if your opponent is betting aggressively, especially if you have a lot of showdown value. If you’re playing against an aggressive player and they bet on you, then just call the flop.
There are plenty of situations where calling will be profitable even though there’s only one card left in the deck that could help your hand out. Pocket pairs have a lot of showdown value and can win money from weak opponents who don’t know how to play against them correctly.
For Medium Pocket Pairs, You Can Consider Folding
Lastly, if you have a medium pocket pair (say from 5-7) on an early street, you can consider folding if your opponent bets into you. You will still win with showdown value, but it’s not worth the risk of calling with such a weak hand.
If your opponent bets on you and has shown aggression before in similar spots, then this is probably not the best time for them to take their chips off the table. In these situations, it’s usually better to call than fold because they might be bluffing with hands that are too strong for them to fold under pressure, as they would rather gamble by betting into us than just give up their hand altogether!