The Best Way to Play Pocket Pairs Č Pocket pairs are without a doubt are the greatest starting cards, but landing a low with them can be dangerous if not played correctly. There are a few ways to play pocket pairs that will profit, even if you lose some money. The first way, is to build your big pocket pair, and hope a low flop proves to be a lower pair.
With AA, the best starting hand is telling you to play it for as long as there are no low cards on the board. See the second example below.
Your pocket pair of AA is nice and tight pre-flop, but low cards on the board, and even if there are, you still have a relatively high pair of aces. It doesn’t matter what cards come in the flop, you are still going to have a huge advantage over the other players at the table. Your pre-flop bet should be a semi-bluff, or at least a semi-decent hand. If you make a low flop bet of 2-4x the blind and everyone folds, then you either land a great hand, or you don’t have the best hand.
AA is the best hand pre-flop, but if low cards come out and you don’t have the best hand, you shouldn’t be playing. When you have AA, you have a good chance of winning a big pre-flop bet, so you want to bet big, but not too big. Ideally, you want to bet around 6-8x the big blind. Doing this will show the other players at the table that you have a huge hand, and will make them think twice about going against you. When your opponents think you have something big, you will have lost a lot of little pots, but you will also pick up some pots where they think they have you beat, and they will think about folding. When you bet to hard, or try to stamp your name on the list, players will not want to bet with you again. Your opponents will also know that when you play a hand, you are out to win it, and they will be less likely to call you. Your ability to earn money by trapping will increase.
To cash or not to cash? How you bet is vitally important in any situation. If you are playing a hand as a means of a check, and 95% of the time you will lose, then it offends the flow of the game, and it probably should be avoided. Instead, try to use your skills to earn the money in the pot. If you are playing rags, betting big and getting everyone to call will almost certainly not help your situation. Instead, use your judgement to play a pot, earn smaller pots, and eventually flush out or semi-bluff the better hands.
Consider your position at the table. When you are the first person to act, you have the least information. When you are the last person to act, you have the most information about your opponents. Aggression is rewarded in Texas Holdem, because it is a tactic useful for the later stages of the game. Play aggressively when you are the button, or the dealer, then, around the last person to act, you can worry a little bit, and be more likely to get your opponent to fold, when you actually have a strong hand.
Check, check, check. When you are on the button, you should never check. Never even think of calling a bet, when your turn comes around. Your poker position requires you to be aggressive, when your turn comes around.
When you have the best hand, bet. Don’t always check, though. When you have the best hand, bet! Overbet to get the most money. Don’t be afraid to bet. If you have a really good hand, chances are, your opponent doesn’t, either. If you are still pretty new to this game, you have to first get a feel of the game, without risking too much. Start out in the small games, one at a time. Each time, approach the game with new perspectives. You learn, you learn, and you learn. When you are in a later position, and no one has raised the pot raise the pot considerably. Then, everyone will probably think about their hand, and then you can get a lot of money in the middle of the game.
Play strong hands aggressively. Face the down-swings of poker. Raise when you think you have the strongest hand. Never check when you have a good hand. Play medium strength hands with caution. Suited connectors and suited cards are not as strong as many other hands.