Small Pair

Some of the most misplayed hands in no limit Texas Hold’em are small pairs, that is pairs of deuces up to pocket sixes. Although they do have the potential to win huge pots when they flop a set they are essentially a speculative hand, a speculative hand that many overestimate the strength of.

Small pairs are extremely vulnerable to almost any hand due to their value. Against a bigger pair they will always be at least an 80% underdog and even against suited connectors and higher unpaired hands they will only hold between 50 and 55% equity, meaning they will be essentially tossing a coin on whether they win or not. You may think that small pairs will not run into bigger pairs too often but you would be mistaken. A lowly pair of fours will be up against a higher pair around 22% of the time at a six-handed table and at least 33% of the time at a ten-handed table!

The real strength of these hands, whether used at the same time as Betfair promo codes or not, is their implied value from flopping sets against said higher pocket pairs or when one of your opponents flops top pair or two pair and cannot let go of their hand. But set mining, where players purposely play any pair with the hope of flopping a set, is not without its risks and is often misplayed too. In order to set mine profitably you should have at least 10-to-1 implied pot odds, which is rarely the case if a pot is three-bet and you are only 100 big blinds deep, plus many people see a flop reading 6d-2c-9h whilst holding a pair of fives and despite not flopping their set they seem to think their hand will be good and go one or two streets too far with a weak hand.

Those over at note that to play small pairs profitably you ideally want to have position on your opponents and be able to see the flop cheapily in order to maximise your potential returns. In a passive full ring game you could probably get away with limping from up front but if there have been raises preflop, especially those isolating limpers, then you should muck all small pairs from the early positions. In middle position you can start to limp in, even raising when first in against weak-passive opponents and all small pairs can and should be raised first in from the cutoff and button and you should be happy to win the blinds without a fight.

Treat small pairs exactly as that and you should not go too far wrong.