If you are in mid position or late and two opponents have paid to see the flop, a raise would be the best strategy to encourage players behind you to screw up. If no one is teetering in front of you, just call to see the flop, hoping for action from the two or three players to your left.
Playing a pre-flop pair of middle pocket (JJ to 8-8) is a situation that can be a dilemma. You want to dilute the field to give your middle pocket pair a better chance of staying in the lead until the fight. The problem here is that a weaker hand will most likely fold into your raise, but a stronger hand can be expected to see the flop still – especially one that has a card of honor in a hole, a connector or a matching SBCPOKER. On average, one out of three times, each opponent will match one of his holecards. (That’s a statistical fact.)
In that case, unless you flop a set, you may have to lose. In low-limit games, players who only have one honor card on the hole often stick around to see the flop. So, you might as well be limping. Then, if no honor card falls, it’s time to bet or raise to thin the field. May your middle partner continue to take the lead. Of course, you can get lucky and achieve a set or better. The odds are almost 8 to 1 against. (If that is the case, you may be betting for value or slow play to build up the pot on the next betting round.)
Even more difficult is deciding how best to play small pairs (7-7 to 2-2) in the limit game, before the flop. If the higher card falls on the flop that pairs one of your opponent’s cards, unless you flop a set, then you’re the big underdog with only two outs – and you don’t know it.
If a player bets in front of you, consider the type of player. If he’s a tight player, the chances of flop have increased his hand to a higher or better pair. Folding your small pocket pairs is a viable option – especially if there is a raise before you.
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