Playing Mid-Pocket Pairs

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Playing Middle Pocket Pairs

It is significantly harder to play middle pocket pairs like eights or nines because neither low pair strategy nor high pair strategy is relevant.  In low pair strategy, you really need to hit your set in order to play the hand postflop.  If you miss you’ll have to usully have to fold with overcards on the table when there’s two or more opponents in the hand. When playing high pocket pairs, you can play aggressively on the flop with a good chance you’re ahead of your opponent.  Middle pocket pairs ranging from 77 – 1010 however are more contingent on the flop and community cards.

Playing Middle Pocket Pairs – Table Position

Early Position: Aim to get in cheap on the flop because the odds of hitting your set on the flop are 12%.  This means you need at least 8:1 pot-odds to make the call or at least 3-4 deep stack players in the pot to make it worthwhile with implied odds.

Late Position: Raise the pot (about 50%-75%) if everyone has checked.   Not only will your raise look like your stealing the blinds but you’ll also have great odds against any opponent who calls.  If you hit your set you can play also aggressively and make it look like a continuation bet.

When to Fold Medium Pocket Pairs

You should fold pocket pairs when there are over cards on the flop, particularly if there’s more than one opponent in the hand. Your opponent’s each have a 40% chance of hitting it so any over cards represent a risk.  It’s very unlikely you’ll have the right odds to call for the turn or river either.  Your chances of making a set here are less than 5%, so you’d theoretically need 20:1 pot odds to call in each round of betting.

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