Got a pocket pair?

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Texas Holdem game. You get small to medium pair. Great! Or not? How strong is this hand?

Let's take pocket nines. Many people would be somewhere between happy and crazy after getting this pair, but actually this hand is not that good after all.

Statistically, in Texas Holdem pair wins about 55% of all the time. Your pair of nines if you do not improve it, by getting trips, straight, flush, full house or four of a kind, will only beat a high card or a lower pair and the lower your pair is the worse are your chances to win.

The question arises, so how the hell should I play pocket pairs with?

I'll tell ya. There are two main pocket pairs playing strategies. First is to raise the pot preflop and to force your opponents fold. But this works best in late position, because you may get reraised or get two or three callers in front. In this way you middle pair is not strong enough.

Second strategy is very simple, just limp in with your pair and call the small bets, waiting for the trips or even something better.

You must be very careful with small and medium pair, because hitting trips is not that easy and anyone at the table can have a higher pair. Be ready to fold it anytime, as
it is not one of those monster hands.

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