Poker strategy: how to play pairs in Texas Hold’em Poker

Poker strategy

Pairs that fall pre-flop are always welcome. However, when you start playing online poker, you will ask yourself many questions after losing the hand with the best preflop hand. As you progress, you may even find yourself throwing away a hand because simply put, a pair is the best hand pre-flop, but it can lose its power and strength on the flop. There is a world of difference between a pair of AS and a 2-2 pair. Pairs in poker are generally divided into three types. Small pairs, medium pairs and big pairs. The first category is a bargain, the second an opportunity and the last a challenge. We will explain how to play your pairs. Nevertheless, the position, your bankroll and the type of players you are playing against are all important factors that you should not forget. 

Playing Small Pairs in Poker 

poker online

Small pairs are: 

  • 2-2.
  • 3-3.
  • 4-4.
  • 5-5.
  • 6-6.

Small pair is the trap for a beginner. It is a made hand, but it is extremely weak. Imagine that you can have an opponent with a hand dressed as a jack-king or even a top pair and your pretty little pair is not worth a damn. You can only hope for three of a kind or a miraculous four of a kind. So you have to be careful with a small pair because it can lead you to call and get into a spiral that will cost you dearly. If the preflop goes to raise and on raise, fold, drop it as if you have a small mismatched hand.

Touchdown stats with a pair of 6s against 9 opponents at the table:

  • One pair: 35.15.
  • Two pair: 39.4.
  • Three of a kind: 11.7.


  • Flush: 1.95% Full House: 8.55.
  • Full House: 8.55.
  • Four of a Kind: 0.84.
  • Straight Flush: 0.02.
  • Chance of winning: 13.9%.

You can see that despite your pair, your hand range is limited and hitting a card to improve your hand is weak. Your position is important with this kind of hand. If you are playing in first position or early position, don’t hesitate to throw away. Visibility can leave you with information and if you find yourself playing blind, you are likely to be attacked. In medium position, if no one has raised, you can try to pay to go on the flop. Don’t get into a raise war, you don’t have a strong enough hand to go for the flop. If you are in a late position and no one has raised, you can try to raise to catch the blinds, but nothing says that the last opponents are easily caught. The small pair requires you to know how to read your position and the play of your opponents.

Playing high pairs in poker

Texas Hold'em Poker

High pairs are:

  • D-D.
  • R-R.
  • AS-AS.

Statistics of hitting with a pair of AS against 9 opponents at the table 

  • One pair: 35.15.
  • Two pairs: 39.4.
  • Three of a kind: 11.7.
  • Flush: 1.97.
  • Full House: 8.55.
  • Four of a Kind: 0.84.
  • Straight Flush: 0.02.
  • Chance of winning 30.87.

This is bingo, keno, the bank holidays. You’ve hit a high pair and this is no time to get eaten and waste this little gift of luck. You need to raise hard and significantly, i.e. 3 or 4 times the big bling. Why should you do this? Simply to avoid an opponent coming after you with a weaker hand and ending up with a flop draw that would put you in a position of opportunity. Always think of a range of hands and read our article to understand why you need to be aggressive with a strong hand, especially on the pre-flop.

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