Playing pocket pairs out of position in Texas Hold’em

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Posted on: April 28, 2020 5:36 pm EDT

Just because a player has identical cards doesn’t mean that it will automatically win the game

Particularly in Texas Hold’em poker, the position at every hand is key in making a strategic decision. Being the one who initiates the action, or someone who follows, determines how to enter a hand. In the case of having low pocket pairs, the position becomes even more important and, as usual, several factors need to be considered.

The worst-case scenario would be sitting in the small blind holding pocket pairs. For those cases in which a player is raising pre-flop, most likely the opponent is trying to steal the pot, but that doesn’t mean he has a bad hand. It is better not to take that risk and reconsider continuing.

A relative position offers a bit more advantage for players if there are two or more players active in the hand; calling is a good idea. Two things could happen, either you set, or you can use a check-raise strategy, which might force the other opponents to fold. And, stick with the player who follows your call as a perfect chance to raise the pot.

Generally, it is never a good strategy to participate in a hand in which you have low pocket pairs when there is a three-bet preflop if you are out of position. Even if you hit your set with pocket pairs, if the players are four or five-betting, consider retracting even if it’s a difficult decision. An exception can be made if you have enough stack to take the risk and move forward with the hand.