Playing middle pocket pairs in Texas Hold’em

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Posted on: April 9, 2020 9:17 pm EDT

Fine-tune your pre-flop pair strategies to become a master

Texas Hold’em poker comes with a good deal of complexity and exciting situations that call for quick strategic decisions. Everything will be defined by the pocket cards and, when those cards fall in the mid-range area, typically from 7s to Jacks, the hand can get tricky. One tricky hand that should be played carefully is pocket pairs of middle-range cards prior to the flop, and sometimes players wonder whether they should call, raise or fold. The decision to be made changes depending on other factors, like how the table is being led and a few others.

A good way to test the waters is to just call preflop because it won’t raise any attention from the opponents. It is a good chance to see what cards are going to be dealt at the center of the table and make a smart decision from there. To use this strategy, always pay attention to any loose player at the table, as they might join the game even if with a weak hand, risking your pair. Calling preflop is a good way to keep the pot small and controlled in the case that the rest of the cards did not bring enough possibilities for the hand to be successful.

A big raise or a re-raise of your bet could mean that another player has a higher pair, so it is better to have an emergency exit and be ready to back out. This is when observation skills come in handy, backing up is not the case for all hands but if you are up against a skilled player who rarely raises, then it might be better to step back. The odds of another player having a higher pair increase with the numbers of players sitting in the table.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that mid pocket pairs are not exactly a strong hand, only for the beginning of the game, which can rapidly lose relevance facing the cards in the flop.