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Playing Small Pockets in Poker

Aggressive loose game play certainly has its place and rewards in the poker gaming world but needs to be understood. Playing small pairs is one of the hardest things to do in poker. Getting yourself to play them is one challenge and then playing them right is another challenge completely on its own.

There are typically two schools of thought when it comes to playing smaller paired cards in poker. Both are effective and certainly have their place to be mentioned however they should be recognized as two different methodologies.

One thing many players find is that although they are two different ways to play the same cards neither is right. Nor is either the right in anyone situation. The choice to be made on either should be made based on the situation because it relies as much on your opponent as it does on how comfortable you may or may not be with the strategy.

One method is to play small pairs early on and as strongly as you could represent any hand. The advantages to this is statistically you are probably holding the best hand, and the more players you can scare off the blinds can result in paying your share early. However this is obviously dangerous representing a stronger hand can be taken drastically different and even be seen as an attempt at blind stealing.

Against the more conservative players this strategy may in fact be advantageous but remember this success will be highly dictated on both your table image and the table’s attitude towards you.
The other method is playing them slow and waiting to see what flops and taking it from there. This has two repercussions one is that you have gone into a flop that you can’t come out of in good shape(most of the time).

The second thing is that you could realize based on bet patterns and general mannerisms of your opponent that you still hold the best this means you will probably pull in more money than you would have trying to over bid pre-flop. Which can make it more than worth it, but it’s a two edged sword that will certainly not hesitate to cut back.

Both these strategies need to be recognized and can have their pay offs, both are exceptionally dependent on the opponent. Playing small pair cards is dangerous and are most of the card combinations that need to be played directly to your opponent. By that it is meant you need to play the hand to best counter the psychology and movements of the other poker players at the table with you to best achieve the largest stack.


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