Playing Big Pairs in Poker
- Learn how to play big pairs in No Limit Hold’Em
- Show strength, playing coy will only get you so far
- Slow playing good hands has become more popular since TV shows regularly show professionals slow playing
When you sit down at a table, you’re undoubtedly hoping to come up with a big pair or two to get the game rolling. Picking up a big pair is only one part of getting the job done, though. Once you get that big hand, you’ve got to know how to play it. There are certain moves which must be made in order to extract maximum value out of this type of hand. For the sake of this argument, we’ll consider a big pair to be any pair of Queens or above. Here is some insight on playing big pairs in poker.
- Showing Strength
Some players like to play coy when playing big pairs in poker, but this will only get you beat in the end. In no limit games, you have to come out and show some muscle with these big pairs in order to narrow the field and improve your chances of taking home a good payday. You can’t always extract maximum value with these hands, but there’s no reason why you should let a weak hand hang around long enough to beat you. Make a relatively large pre-flop raise (4 or 5 times the big blind) with your big pair so that you can find out where other players stand. This will likely force out any small, weak hand that might draw out on you.
- To Slow Play or Not to Slow Play?
The slow play has become a popular move with playing big pairs in poker for many new players, but this is a very dangerous way to play. When should you consider playing possum with your big pair? It should only be done in a circumstance where you are in late position and your only competition within the hand is a player who has been playing overly aggressive over the course of the day. In this case, you can allow the player to bet into your hand as you wait for the moment where a raise will catch your opponent completely off guard.
Aces in Poker, a Blessing or a Curse?
Though they’re the best hand in the game, aces can be more of a curse to some players. They should win every time, but some players find themselves scrambling for remaining chips after they lose a hand in which they were dealt these pocket rockets. How do you avoid putting yourself in this type of situation? You have to play this hand as strong and smart as possible. You might think it will be a benefit to your chip stack to let a number of players linger around when you have this hand. The fact of the matter is that this gives more players a chance to hit a flush or straight and break up your hand. Concentrate on making a decent sized raise to eliminate all but one or two opponents. Then, you can make moves when they hit a top pair that doesn’t compare to your pocket Aces.
Learning how to play big pairs is imperative to your success in No Limit Hold ‘Em. These are the hands which should be bringing profits your way, so you can’t waste that opportunity. Strong play is, more or less, the most reliable way to go about playing big pairs when you’re at a table of weak players. It should be noted that your style of play will need to be modified in order to compete with your specific competition.