Any Tips for Playing Pairs in Hand?

Playing pairs in the hand can be tricky!!
=> The main benefits of a pair-in-hand compared with the same match-up pair on the board is their surprise factor and hidden triple possibilities. Good bluff prospects as it confuses opponents.
=> When does size matter most, big vs small, early vs late. With few players should you fold pairs <7, given high cost
=> All-in possibilities are great, especially late when well behind nothing to lose. But, Is it better to go all-in before or after the flop with AA, KK, QQ (risky), or simply small bet with surprise at the end. A single pair, even AA can be beaten, especially with large number of players. Lots to consider. Before flop no one knows the flop match up. After the flop you know what you are up against but opponents know their prospects. You can decide to go all-in then after seeing the flop.
=>Big pre-flop bet with high pair is another option as it avoids risking everything, cuts down on opponents and eliminates miracle pairs and triples.
=> Betting comparisons versus same pair on the board
=> Are rag pairs any good in the middle part of the game with 3-6 players - should you fold them.
Any Comments of Suggestions?


I think you mostly just want to make the highest excpectation play in every spot. Don’t wait for the nuts to grow the put, but put money in the pot when the calling range is mostly weaker than your hand, and with some hands lacking showdown value (either for balance, or if you think your oppenent will over fold). That said, I mostly don’t find either option presented (going all in or betting small) attractive, unless you are pretty short stacked. I’d mostly rather just make a normal or slightly larger than normal raise.

To the extent that you are likely to be able to get to the flop with a large stack to pot ratio, and to the extent opponents are likely to call large bets over multiple streets with moderately strong hands (or draws) when you hit a set, playing small pairs from almost any position can be profitable. As opponents get stronger, playing more aggressively pre-flop, and in general play better post flop, you mostly don’t want to play small pairs from early positions 8 or 9 handed.

Here’s an opening chart 8 handed from the low jack that assumes 100 big blinds of stack depth, and that the first two seats have folded to you. You raise with the hands in red, and fold with everything else.

Note that on Replay, you’ll probably often see one or both of the seats in front of you limp here. If you have a small pair and don’t frequently see people making large preflop raises behind you, I’d generally just limp behind with a small pair in such a spot.

Edit: when you say the “middle part of the game”, I’m realizing here that you’re probably talking about a tournament setting, and if it is not early in a tournament, you’re mostly not going to have large stack to pot ratios. At this stage, limping early with small pairs is probably not great, and from other seats it should probably be mostly raise or fold.


Playing pairs in hand can be tricky, but it sounds like you already have some good strategies in mind. The key is to be adaptable and always be aware of your opponent’s tendencies and position at the table. Regarding the size of your pairs, it depends on the situation. If you’re in an early position and there are a lot of players left to act, it might be better to fold smaller pairs to avoid getting into a costly situation. It’s also essential to choose a reliable casino like Hope it helps

In multi-table tournaments a lot will depend on the stage of the tournament and the size of the blinds relative to the stacks.

As a general principle, if you have a large pocket pair, then ideally you want to raise pre-flop and narrow it down to a single opponent, and then take away the pot on the flop. The problem here is over cards. You raise preflop with Queen Queen and an ace appears on the flop. Probably the most likely hand to call your pre flop raise is an Ace with a large kicker.

With middle pairs you probably also need to raise or shove if you are on the final table and things are getting desperate. The thinking here is that you would like to take down the blinds without resistance, but if you do get a call, then you still have some chance of taking the pot. Early in tournaments, you want to see the flop cheaply and see if you can hit a set. A set of eights is always nice to see if the flop comes ace high. Raising pre-flop early in tournaments is problematic, because you may get three callers and end up losing a lot of chips when you bet the flop and everybody stays in.

With small pairs you are facing a much greater danger of having your hand counterfeited. You can probably play these hands from the blinds, or cheaply against a single opponent. The trouble with small pocket pairs is that you can flop a boat, but if you are against a bigger pocket pair, you may end up behind by the river.

A lot of people on replay poker know that 22 is a slight favorite against AK in a heads up clash, so they think that 22 is just as good as AK. Well, it isn’t, because 22 is a dog to any other pocket pair, and if there are more than two players in the pot, then it quickly loses value.

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Just remember that a small pair you PROBABLY need a set to win as you have a one in 8 chance of flopping a set BUT here on re-play anything can happen lol.

I think a 20% chance of a set with pocket pair and whole board BUT here on re-play poker anything can happen:).