There is no doubt that in your time of playing Texas Holdem, you have had a few small pocket pairs, and they may have won for you or lost for you. Generally low pocket pairs won’t win the hand and you only have about a 12.5% chance of hitting a hand even worth calling, and you still risk losing the hand. Small pocket pairs well say are any pairs from 22-77.
When you’re dealt a small pocket pair the first thing we need to look at is our position in the hand. If you’re early to act in the hand, then I recommend only calling the big blind and try getting a cheap flop. If you’re late to act then you need to see what the other players do in front of you before you can play. If the pot is raised up pre-flop before it even gets around to you then you need to consider the risk/reward factor that you have. I usually will call a small raise of 2-3X the big blind, but nothing more than that. There is no point calling a big raise with small pocket pairs because unless you hit your set you’re in trouble as there will almost always be an over pair that hits for an opponent.
The money from small pocket pairs comes from the time when you manage to hit a set. The goal that you should be aiming for when you have small pocket pairs is to get to the flop cheaply and hope you hit your set. If you don’t hit your set then you’ll need to see how the hand is played out, but I have to say that you shouldn’t become dead set on small pocket pairs. Small pockets can be a complete bankroll drainer and I’ve seen a lot of beginner player’s play there small pockets way to strongly.
If you get involved into pots with small pocket pairs and you don’t happen to hit your set, which will happen more often then not, you still can win the pot. Depending on how many players are left in the pot you might be able to steal the pot away with a bet, so don’t feel if you don’t hit your set you should shut down. You shouldn’t stab at the pot all the time, but in some occasions you’ll be able to get away with it and I recommend trying so every once in awhile.
So to summarize the article when you get dealt small pocket pairs you should look to enter pots with cheap flops. If you don’t hit your set you could fold, and if you do hit your set then you could potentially win a monster pot. The only things you’ll need to watch out for are straights and flushes and the odd full house if the community cards pair up. There is money to be made by playing small pocket pairs correctly, but be weary about getting too many chips invested into a pot without hitting your set.
If you like this article, you can find more at www.poker30.net.