Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daniel Negreanu on How to Play Middle and Small Pairs

Middle and Small Pairs

Lately, I've been misplaying these middle and small pairs. So I went back to review how Negreanu would play these hands using his small ball tournament strategy. This information is taken from his latest book Power Hold'em Strategy.

Middle Pairs: Pocket 7's to 10's

Don't overplay these hands. They are good hands because of their implied value rather than their preflop strength.

Pre-flop: If first in the pot, a raise of 2.5 times the big blind.

Flop: If you hit your set, play to win big. If you miss, don't auto-fold unless the action indicates a lot of strength.

Small Pairs: Pocket 2's to 6's

Play these pairs like the middle pairs.

Pre-flop: Do not re-raise your opponents.

Example #1:


You have 10s-10d.

A tight player under the gun raises before the flop. You call from the button.

Important note: Please don't re-raise a tight player who raises under the gun with pocket 10's. I see this happen too often and the only reason I can think someone is doing this is because they are not paying attention.

The flop: 8h-4h-3c.

The tight player checks. What should you do?

Bet becasue 1) Your opponent checked and it will define your opponent's hand 2) If you check, your opponent will have a chance to hit his most likely hand, A-K and 3) A flush draw is present and you can lose if he hits his hand and/or picks up a flush draw on the turn.

If he check raises you here, just fold. Tight players won't make a play in this situation.

If he calls your bet, proceed with caution. He may be setting a trap with pocket Aces.

Example #2:

You have 9h-9c.

Blinds $25/$50 and a player raises to $150 from middle position. You call on the small blind.

Flop: Qh-7d-2s. You check and your opponent bets $300. This opponent is aggressive and tends to c-bet, so you call.

Turn: 7c. You check and your opponent bets $600. What should you do?

Check raise to $1200 or $1500. If he re-raises you, you can fold. If he calls, check the river. If he bets the river, you are beat.

Example #3:

You have 4d-4s.

You raise the $50/$100 blinds to $250 in late position. The small blind calls.

Flop: 8h-9s-9h. The small blind check calls your $400 bet.

Turn: Kc. The small blind check calls your $600 bet.

River: 8d. Your opponent checks. What should you do?

Don't check even though the board counterfeited your small pair. Bet $800 into the $2700 pot. It looks like a legitimate value bet. If you are wrong, that small a bet will not hurt your stack if you are beat.

1 comment:

Luigi said...

Good sound advice

What's Your Poker IQ?