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How to Play Small Pairs Preflop

Playing small pocket pairs preflop is always somewhat tricky, because you will always be confronted with higher cards who can become higher pairs for the other poker players on your table.  That is why small pairs like 3 3 and 4 4 need to be handled with cautious.

Of course you will hope to hit three of a kind with the flop, but realistically this won’t happen that often. My recommendation is not to play them too aggressively at the lower tables since bluffs usually don’t work against the new players at the lower tables. The reason for this is that amateur players tend to act like the Policemen.

However, once you reach higher tables with bigger blinds the small pocket pairs can become pretty handy. At those tables even if you did not hit three of a kind you can still pretend to have a good hand and if you are in the right position then you can apply some pressure on the other players.

Lets see how  such a situation could look – You have 5 5 preflop, you are playing from early position and you are standard 3 betting. One player did call and the flop shows 7 J A. This isn’t as bad of a flop as you would think, since we expected over cards anyway. Yet, you played from early position and it’s not that unlikely that you actually could have an A! This is what we are going to use for our advantage (the advantage of position). The next bet we are making shouldn’t be neither too high, nor too low otherwise the opponent might see through are intention. Betting 1/3 of the pot is more than enough, since we do not want to lose too much money if the other guy might have the real A. This way we can make the most from our small pocket pair.