The Poker Couple: Learning To Use It
Pocket pairs are cards of the same rank that together make up the lowest poker hand. The pocket pair is the one dealt by the dealer, but the player can also collect a combination during the deal.
A bit of theory
It often happens that several opponents have combinations of the same strength. To determine the favorite in this case, they resort to comparison kickers (so called cards that are not included in the combination). Of the five cards in hand, two of the same value are a pair, and the remaining three are kickers, and they are divided as follows:
- Senior is the most significant card remaining in the hand;
- Medium - the second most valuable card, which can determine the winner if the first strongest kickers for the players coincide;
- Junior - the last option, which determines the winner when the two previous kickers match.
Sometimes it happens that all the kickers are the same: in this case, there is a pocket pair on the hands, and the board cards are the kickers. There is no other way out here but to divide the winnings between the players.
Beginners often assume that all seven of the cards dealt are a hand. This thought and subsequent defeats with the “cherished pair in hand” are the result of inattentive study of the basics of poker.
A hand never contains more than five cards, regardless of the type of poker. Some exceptions here can be considered "Russian poker", where, according to the rules, you can buy six cards. However, this is only an addition to five-card combinations.
Let's remind that this is the name of the combination of cards given by the dealer. To play it competently and increase the chances of winning, you need to follow these recommendations:
- Overpairs (pairs of high cards) should be played aggressively preflop. Your opponents assume that you have an overpair at your disposal, and therefore may surrender even before the board. True, the gain will be small, and such solutions should not be abused.
- In a situation where the table cards on the flop are not draws for a straight and / or flush, but when supplemented with a pocket pair will result in a more powerful combination than the pair itself, it is worth going all-in with a high bet. Opponents will fold if they think you have a strong hand. But there is another option: your opponents will decide that you are bluffing and will answer.
- You should not go all-in with pairs weaker than 10 (medium) preflop / flop, but you should bet actively, and bet first on mediocre streets.
- Do not forget to monitor the situation with other poker players and calculate the options. Create a game with the expectation of getting a set, four of a kind or a full house as a result of your pocket pair development. There is no need to play aggressively against tight: after a passive hand, your opponent may fold postflop - so the pair will get you a victory.
By the way, in the case of a pocket pair, the first and middle positions are not played as aggressively as the last ones.
About desires and probabilities
The most desirable of the couples is, of course, the older couple. It does not guarantee triumph, but it greatly increases its chances. However, the distribution rarely begins with a pair falling out, and even more so - the senior one. The probability that a pocket pair will appear after a short time is very small - 3%. If there are different-ranked cards in the starter hand, the probability of getting a pair on the flop is 1: 3. The odds go up on the turn and river, reaching 13%.
The pair is the most common combination, and it has the most wins on its account. Therefore, although pocket pairs are minor combinations, you should not underestimate them, but develop them to more powerful combinations or, in certain situations, use them as they are to win.