How to Play Middle Pairs Preflop

Depending on your position,  your opponents and the actual poker game you are playing you can handle middle pairs preflop in different ways. Lets see through some examples here

    • If you are in a tournament and you are near the bubble playing middle pairs depends a lot on position. Actually if you are in early position I would recommend to even throw the hand away, since we are near the money (bubble) you don’t want to get in a nasty situation where you might get kicked out of the tournament. Here is a simple way how this could happen. You have 9 9 preflop and your are 3 betting  from early position. Remember you are near the bubble and the blinds are already big enough so that a re-raise from another player could cost you nearly all your remaining chips. Even if he does not re-raise and the flop shows 10 Q 2 then your opponent could easily have a higher pair and you might be forced to throw away the hand and lose a lot of chips that you would need for the later part of the tournament.

 

    •  If you are playing a NL poker cash game with 6 players you can play a middle pair from pretty much every position. All-in and re-raises from other players after you already did a 3 betting should not be called with a mere middle pair, since there is a good chance (depending on your opponent) that he has a higher pair than you have.

 

    • If you are playing SnG where the blinds are usually increased pretty fast a middle pair can become a  double-edged sword. My advice is to play for example 8 8 and 9 9 more often at the beginning of the SnG when the blinds are still small and you can see the flop for a rather small chip count. While you should play them more cautious once the blind start increasing.

In all these examples I just listed you always need to consider that there are several elements who can affect these mentioned situations. Like the moods of the other poker players, or the position from where you starting. The amount of chips you still possess (tournament) can also be a big factor.

Poker Bankroll Management Is Crucial

Money management can be really difficult for some people. They live for the day and whenever they earn something they tend to spend it immediately and their account stays as it was before – usually empty.

In this way they can’t leave the comfort zone and whenever they have income it is all right but there is not much space for bigger investments. But what if that calculated income is late or even over? In these cases bankruptcy and lower living conditions take place and that is why money management is so important.

These things also apply for poker. Your bankroll resembles your basic budget and adequate bankroll management is a crucial principle in poker, of course if you aim to make profit and be a successful player. The secret of successful bankroll management is to stick to your own proven guidelines and play within your limits. These rules apply for both sit & go and cash games.

Remember that if you go out of balance the game will be over. That is why you need to be cautious and don’t get yourself in a situation where you have to risk everything you have in one hand. So being in control means everything. Keep in mind that a game of poker is not a steady river where you just play and watch your money pile up. There are periods when you lose but there are periods when you win, it is extremely important to keep your bankroll safe for all those ups and downs.

If you follow some general rules like the ones that we will present here, you can be sure that your bankroll management is done in a right way.

What is the first thing that you do when you join a game? Buy-in of course. So take a close look about how much money is needed for a buy-in. You need to be ready to play for a longer period without a profit, you don’t want to sit on the table and hope that after three hands you will start making profit. On the contrary you should be ready to invest at least 25 buy-ins(or a little bit more if you are playing Sit & Go game) before you sit on the table. If you don’t have that amount of money it’s better to look for tables with lower buy-ins. When we talk about Sit & Go there is another good rule called “two percent rule” that can be very helpful. It basically means that you should not invest more than 2% of your overall bankroll on a single Sit and Go game.

As we have said before your bankroll is your basic poker budget so you must be very cautious. Don’t buy something that you can’t afford. It is always a good idea to have some reserves just in case. Thanks to these reserves you can get back in play if you are having a bad period.

Good poker bankroll management is what makes a difference between a losing and a winning player. Without proper money management even the best players on the globe don’t stand a chance.