Many online poker players that play big pocket pairs like pocket 8’s or pocket 7’s for a cheap call usually end up folding,# creaming pocket. Why?
Because of the odds. The times they get limp with big pocket pairs are around 8%, so obviously if you’re out of position and get creamed, you’re not likely to win a lot of pots. Having to get into position against players and tight players makes big pocket pairs very potent, juicy, and interesting hands to play. But if you’re out of position and get creamed, well then, its just another lost hand, perhaps the last one you will ever get.
How To Play Big Pocket Pairs In Online Poker
The thing about big pocket pairs is that they are likely overcard situations if you are facing 3 or more players. They are strong hands under most circumstances, and require you to play a lot of pots, so you will sacrifice the value of a big pocket pair if you are card dead. With a big pocket pair its like being able to open up a new pair of sunglasses or a new suit. Make a big raise or re-raise if you think you’ll win the pot, and invite in as many callers as necessary to guarantee you get paid off.
Now, when I say call, I mean a realistic one. Its nothing to get your heart fluttered, nothing to get your chips all in pre-flop, nothing to get you all in post flop when you know you’re beat, unless your getting odds. The way you want to play these hands is to call, and slowly build the pot to get a real hand. Do not get your hopes up too high, and do not chase cards like you might chasing a flush. You want this hand to develop into a true session, and not a string of losses. This is a hand that is won by playing your odds and calling your chances.
To successfully play big pocket pairs online, you want your opponents to have a big stack at your table. If people are short-stacked, then they are less likely to want to risk their chips on you. If they have big stacks, then they are more likely to want to protect it. Regardless of the motivation factor, whenever you get a big pocket pair, you want to make sure it gets paid off.
The hardest thing for aces to get away with in online tournaments is AK. That’s a hand that looks awesome because you have high kicker value, but it can easily get beaten by a piecing together of pairs, or a better ace. Don’t be afraid of AK, especially in early stages. All it takes is one ace to bust you out, and you’ll never get another one.
Remember that a big pocket pair will always win. Even when you lose with a set, you’ll still lose much less money (by more than AK) if you have pocket jacks. The only reason not to go all in with pocket jacks is when the antes start to kick in. It’s an easy game to get sucked in with a high pair, especially when people bust out quick toless. But remember, a bigger pair can also win you much more money.