Betting Strategy with 2nd best pair in the flop

Which option is best?
Early position
=> bet to bluff you have the best pair
=> check to see if someone else bets
=> bet small to guage a reaction

Late position, all checks
=> assume no one has the best pair so bet large to bluff for it
=> bet medium and hope for a triple or second pair
=> check and hide your pair till the end

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Tough to answer at all but impossible to answer without more information. Are you heads-up postflop or multiway? How did the action go preflop (ie limped or opened, flatted or 3-bet …). Are you playing with skilled players or with typical passive calling-stations? Cash or MTT? Effective stacks?

There are almost never any easy answers in poker. This is a complex game, as I’m sure you know. If you provide context to your question, I’m sure someone here will be able to give you some guidance.

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Thanks for that, I was just after general principle guidance without going into the context which can vary a hell of a lot. Cheers

It depends on your position, how skilled your opponent is, your image, the amount of players in the pot, and the texture of the board.

Multiway Pots
If it is a multiway pot with 3 or more people, you shouldn’t be betting second pair. It just too likely that someone has top pair. The only exception to the rule that I can think of is when the board is wet and has a bunch of low card (4s6c7s). On this board you can usually bet 2/3 pot with a 6 or even a lower pair because people on replay just love to chase their draws. However, I wouldn’t make this play if there is more than 5 people in the pot unless you have a draw yourself (45 or As6s).

Heads Up
If your opponent is fit-or-fold (they fold air and only continue with made hands and draws), then only bet if the board is wet and check if the board is dry. You need to charge their draws, and on dry boards if you bet and he/she calls, half time they have top pair and half the time they have bottom pair so you are not getting called by much worse.

If your opponent is strong player, then you need to think about position and your image.

In position
If your opponent raises from a early position and you call, you should bets low card boards and check boards with a A, K or Q, since their raise is dominated by hands like AK, KQ, AQ, etc.

If you raise and get called by the one of the blinds, I would generally cbet with second pair since most players here are passive. I would also cbet about 80% of the time against them, so I would often get called by ace high floats. If your opponent is aggressive and check raises often, you should not bet wet boards like Ts9s7c, but continue to bet dry boards like A72r. Just as a note, if your opponent check raises on dry boards and he is balanced with bluffs and value hands on the check raises, then his checking range is super weak so you should double barrel and triple barrel him often. If you do not cbet a high percentage you should not bet 2nd pairs since you will not be called by enough floats.

Out of position
If your opponent is aggressive, always check. You can bluff catch, and you want to keep the pot small. You can bet at a later street.

If your opponent is passive, bet wet boards and check dry boards.

If the stacks are deep, I play close to a cash game strategy. If the stacks are shallow, just cbet 1/4 of the pot with everything in position because due to ICM pressure, your opponent will find it hard to float.

If anything doesn’t make since, just ask. BTW, a lot of this material is assuming you raise to a proper size, and you should start doing it too and you will make a lot more chips.


What a fabulous reply!!! Thanks very much. As a newbie this information if very very helpful. Thanks again and Cheers

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