Although there are a lot of poker players who think that a pocket pair does not account for much in the game of poker, it can be said that, sometimes, these pocket pairs that others think are somewhat “useless” may just be the winning cards that will make your hand win the pot money. So, let us study the poker strategy of pocket pairs and how you can turn it to your advantage.
The Middle Pocket Pairs
The middle pocket pairs can be considered as the pocket tens and the pocket jacks, but these middle pocket pairs can be somewhat tricky when used during a tournament because there are so many players who think that these middle pocket pairs are the highest. So one strategy that you can use is to avoid thinking that these middle pocket pairs are, indeed, the highest pocket pairs. The pocket tens and the pocket jacks may only be “good” hands, but to use them in a tournament, you need to play your hand well.
Playing with Middle Pocket Pairs
If you have pocket tens or pocket jacks, the best thing that you can do is to make a small raise. By making a small raise, the pot builds up and more players fold, thereby limiting the playing field.
Now, when you see a small to medium raise in the pot, it is somewhat okay if you make a call when you have a middle pocket pair. But be warned though that the next raiser might have a higher pocket pair than what you have, especially if you see that the flop turns out to be low cards. For this reason, you can then make or raise a medium bet. But if your challenger re-raises the bet, you should muck your hand. When your challenger re-raises, it could mean that his pocket pair is much higher than yours, and you will lose. On the other hand, if your opponent calls, you can then make another bet during the turn and then check during the river.
Now, if over-cards turn up, the strategy that you can employ is not to act that you have a weak pocket pair. What you can do is to put on your poker face and wait it out and hope that your opponent will not bluff. But if he sees through you, he will make a bluff, and then you lose if you have a lower pocket pair than what he has.
But still, these strategies will not guarantee you any sure win. You still have to study the hand rankings. You also should read up on odds and probabilities if you want to get ahead of your opponents. If you do not know all these, you are opening yourself up to other players who are far stronger than you are. Luck will not make a winner out of you if you are ignorant of the hand rankings, the odds, the probabilities, and other strategies employed in pocket pairs.