Small Pocket Pairs
When you get cards ranging between 2-2 to 6-6, then you have a small pocket pair. Anything beyond these cards can be considered a medium pair or a high pair. These low paired cards are quite strong in a deceptive way but may bring your chips to the drain if you are a poker newbie who overvalues them.
Pre-flop small pocket pairs give you a good advantage but after the flop, things may get a bit trick when your hand does not improve.
Here is how you handle a small pocket pair:
The strength of these cards will be to get a good set upon the flop. You get a set when you get another card of the same number to make a three of a kind. Now this set gives you a strong hand and a good chance to make you some money.
The best move you can do with this hand is try to get a set. If not, then fold. If you do not get a third card on the flop then this cards are hardly profitable.
The odds of getting a set when the dealer gives you the flop are not really that good. There is 1 chance to make a set in every 8 flops. This translates to the reality that we should not keep our hopes too high with a small pocket pair. The implied odds though or the chance of playing the cards worth while is good enough.
Getting a pair of queens is one of the best hands pre-flop in No Limit Texas Hold’em. There are problems though when you go on a pre-flop raising collision with other players, as you might be banging heads with pairs of aces or kings. After the flop, you have to be ready to fold in case you meet an overcard to your good pair. Do not be married to the queens.
There is a very low probability that your pocket queens will be facing aces or kings. You need to feel the game though when the pre-flop betting goes very heavy. Check the behavior of your opponents if they are likely having aces or kings.
You need to consider your position when playing these cards. Let say you have a loose raiser to your right, then you have a green light for a re-raise. See if after the flop there will be an Ace and there will be a raise or more people getting into the pot, you might consider folding.
You need to probe as the players make their move so you can decide if you will play or fold.
You should also consider the size of stacks. If the blinds are 10% of your chips then a raise or a re-raise can be wise moves if you have pair of queens. With other players also in short stacked situation, there is a high probability that underpairs will be going all in, and this will be your opportunity to go all in and boost your stack.
Preflop situations can be very tricky. It will be judgment call on your part to know the meanings of the bets of your opponent prior to the flop.