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  1. #1
    Master Sergeant
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    76

    Post Small Pockets.. How Do You Play Them?

    Let's confine our discussion to 2,2 to 6,6 calling this group Small Pockets. I, generally speaking, will take the attitude that these hands will get the old "set em or forget em" rule. There are times when I will vary how I bet them however. Let's begin by discussing how we make our bets in different situations and positions.

    When UTG or very early position I will many times simply fold these, depending on several things which include the players if I know them. When in early position you need to keep in mind that there are several players to act after you do that could raise and would likely force you to fold anyway, so if I decide to try these at this point I will likely be limping in so as not to lose many chips if a raise is made. So limping in with them or folding them is generally my play. Others factors of course will change this option for me though. If I'm short stacked and desperation time is nearing, a big raise or a shove may be appropriate here, but a shove from UTG or early position would for me only be because of need.

    When in middle position, or close, my play might not vary too much from early position, but circumstances can always dictate otherwise. Limping in might be my first choice here rather than folding them. There are fewer players acting after me now, so my chances of seeing a big raise pre flop has diminished somewhat simply because of less players left to act. Some situations may even call for a raise here and one enough you might believe would shrink the possible number of callers, giving you better odds of your hand being the best pre flop. Circumstances can always cause me to vary from this limping first from middle position, but I feel it is a good place to start using as a barometer for them.

    When on the button, or close, I will slightly slide the scale towards a raise with these hands, but only just a little, but also will slide the scale to a bit higher raise when I decide to raise here. I still keep the limping in fairly strong, but raising here is more of an option than before. Different situations will of course dictate which direction I lean towards. Knowing the players at your table gets even more important from this position I feel. Are they a bit tight? If so, raising may be best option for sure, but tight players are also known for limping in with decent hands. Are they playing loose and/or aggressive? Raising may not always be the best play here then.

    When in the blinds, raising slides up the scale a little more as the option of choice for me. Still, knowing the players and the importance of that, also slide up the scale here. Suppose your in the BB and you only had a couple of limpers. A raise, and a good one, could at least get you down to one caller or may even take down the pot there. Keeping in mind that if you don't hit a set, you may very well be in a defensive posture on the flop. This thought should help you determine how much you want to raise if you decide to do so. You might find your self in the SB and folded to you. In this case a raise is usually my first option here.. and a good one depending on if you know your opponent to your left and how he plays. If you don't get called.. great, but if you do, you need to think ahead of what your next move would be on the flop. So, knowing your opponent will be key.. I think more so on a sliding scale for each situation from UTG to the BB position.

    After the flop, you are in the decision mode here. Made a set? Great! You know what to do then, but if not, hey... you need to be thinking about that "set em or forget em" rule. I'm not saying that it is automatic, but the following play will help you make up your mind then. There are times when you might be thinking about shoving with these hands pre flop. It's not a play I like, but it can be the play of choice if say you are short stacked and especially if your in late position pre flop and/or in the blinds and you only had limpers .. maybe just one or two of them say. You still need to keep in mind, however, that a small pocket pair will most times be only a slight favorite or termed "a coin flip" at best if you get your chips in with them pre flop. Shoving these hands pre flop with only limpers, and few of them, can many times take down the pot without any callers, and you will likely be a slight favorite if called. It will just depend on some factors like, knowing the players still in the hand and what your situation is at the time.

    Ok.. so.. small pocket pairs..."set em or forget em" yes.. generally speaking. Play these hands when you think they can pay off for you. Do you want to call a raise with them pre flop? Depending on your circumstances like your stack size and other factors you may want to see a flop. Keep in mind the odds for setting these hands are pretty high, and put a value on what you want to risk to play them considering stack size, players habits, and other factors that come to mind. I mostly, when I add up a percentage of how I play these hands, will mostly be folding pre or limping pre. Raising with them, for me doesn't happen nearly as often as the other two options. Play these hands? Of course you can, but over valuing these hands can be your undoing. Too often the best you can hope for is a "coin flip", and I'm not often wanting coin flips when I'm trying to build a stack. Vary your play with these hands and keep them guessing. We never want to be so rigid with our play with any hand that we become predictable. These thoughts are only my take on them. There are, I'm sure, other opinions about how to play these hands. I have not covered nearly all the possible scenarios that might come up when playing these hands, so come on, chime in here with your thoughts! Good luck with your small pocket pairs!

  2. #2
    PokerOwned Pro
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    175
    i would be that man but i feel that is not the same

  3. #3
    Knight
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    206
    there a lot of ways to play them.but in micro stakes probably best way is to set mine with them imo.

  4. #4
    Elite PokerOwned Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    631
    I play small pockets as much as I can...I seem to hit more sets with those than large pairs. I try to see a flop as long as the raising doesn't dent my stack too much. My favs are 3s and 5s...almost always hit sets with those two hands.

  5. #5
    Elite PokerOwned Member Bastian2607's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    423
    i dont play them very often, only when i got the stack for that

  6. #6
    Elite PokerOwned Member
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    Jan 2011
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    438
    small pairs are a curse!

  7. #7
    Master Sergeant Blakes84's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    108
    Hit trips shove = win tourns

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