Playing pocket pairs in Texas Hold’em when out of position

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Posted on: April 14, 2020 6:54 pm EDT

Checking how pre-flop bets are made will determine the best course of action

In the game of poker, the player’s position on the table defines a lot of things including the best strategy to be applied. Particularly in Texas Hold’em position is key to determine how to enter a hand; lower pocket pairs are especially sensitive to the position in the table. There are several factors to be considered when having lower pocket pairs to make it a successful hand.

First of all, the odds need to be realistic. Another player raising on the button can be a tricky decision, as it could just mean that the opponent is trying to steal the pot. So, to take the risk, there should be a hand worth chasing. This is when the player with pocket pairs needs to reconsider if going further.

When out of position, a good rule of thumb will be to never engage in a three-bet preflop, they are almost always turned into all-in races, which is not the wisest decision with a lower hand. In a situation like this, the odds become lower with more players on the table, so at this point, it might be better to sit out and be a spectator of that hand.

In a relative position, when two or more players are bringing action during pre-flop betting, a pocket pair is worth making the call. Two options can be considered – either you can make your set on check-raise forcing the other to fold or wait for the right opponent to check and bet, bringing a good chance to raise. Ultimately, low pocket pairs can be tricky, but, overall, the best approach will be to check-bet and wait to see what the pot brings. If no one raises significant amounts then you can take a chance, considering also the possibilities that the community cards bring.