You must be aware that playing small pocket is very profitable because of its characteristic of a flopped set if you open and flat versus opens from most positions. You may like to flat with small pairs when 30bb+ deep, but flattening like 44, 33, 22 do not always yield a good return. Hence, prefer to play UTG+1 and UTG opens. Cut-off versus UTG open is the loosest spot that you may continue to play with all pocket pairs.
You can flat all the small pairs because there is less likelihood of being squeezed out of the pot when three players are left behind. If the big blind is not an aggressive squeezer, you can also flat all your small pairs. Remember that there is more likelihood of being squeezed in the earlier position. In that case, you should either fold or hit a set on the flop because it is a difficult situation and can worsen by being out of position.
The following are the ways of incorporating small pairs into your open-raising range:
- If you have antes in your play, you can open-raise from any position to make a profit. Of course, you should adopt limping or mixed for small blind.
- Avoid open-raising small pairs (22-44) from the early and the middle position, for pre-ante
If you have small pairs, you are sure to end up in the bottom range of your range on the most run outs. In such situations, even if you have a small amount of showdown value, you need to ‘bluff’ when checked top on later streets. Keep in mind that small pairs cannot block your opponent’s value range. So, don’t be carried away with barreling small pairs as bluffs, particularly if you are playing on the situs poker online terpopular, which is an Indonesian online poker site (situs.)
If you have small pairs of less than 30bbs, you should open and flat fewer small pairs because you cannot hit a set and will be forced to fold or check so many flops. You should tighten your calling and opening ranges and try to shove and re-steal opportunities. At the same time, you should consider the player in blinds, table strength, ICM and the button.
You can improve your short stack play by understanding the performance of small pair in common open-shaving and 3-bet shoving scenarios.
While wrapping up small pairs, consider the following:
- Flat call and open-raise
- Avoid flat calling against early and middle position opens
- Don’t flat with less than 30bb effective stacks
Playing small packet pair in a poker game is the most consequential situations, and if you are well-versed in details of every possible situation, you definitely can make a profit even being ‘small.’