Small Pocket Pairs in Poker

When it comes to small pocket pairs, there are a variety of opinions about their benefit in the gambling community. Inexperienced players in particular tend to hold on to every pair that is dealt them, often missing out on a win, but in some situations, small pocket pairs can increase your odds.

What Are Small Pocket Pairs?

If you're new to online poker, pocket pair is the term used to refer to any two cards with the same value. Small pocket pairs are pairs of low cards that would only significantly impact a player's hand if a third card of the same value is dealt. Some players always hold pocket pairs, even the small pairs, while other individuals consider small pocket pairs to be useless.

Are Small Pocket Pairs Useless?

The implied odds associated with small pocket pairs are quite favorable. Because of the decent odds, an effective poker strategy can't completely eliminate this possible starting hand. The key is to understand the rules of the game enough to know when it's best to hold low pairs and when it's best to discard them. The types of betting limits in place are a big factor in this decision.

Winning with Small Pocket Pairs

Along with understanding the implied odds, it's also important to know how small pocket pairs affect the expected value of your hand. In many situations, a small pocket pair with no other significant cards will lower the hand's EV and may cause you to miss out on hands that could have resulted in a big win. Small pocket pairs can create winning hands, but usually not on their own.

In some cases, small pocket pairs can be an excellent contribution to a winning poker hand, but more often than not, a low pair alone will not win the game.