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Middle Pocket Pairs

Perhaps one of the most overrated and at the same time underrated hands in poker are middle pocket pairs. Many people think they are the greatest thing on earth, but at the same time many people think they are completely useless and invaluable. What most fail to realize is that a middle pocket pair is exactly what the name says it is; middle. In some cases it is a great hand and in others it is a terrible hand. There are some cases where you will get paid off huge with the hand and others that you will lose a lot of money.

Any pair ranging from pocket 3′s – pocket 10′s would be considered a mid pocket pair. Most of these hands will have approximately a 50% chance to win in a showdown. They will usually be going against two over cards that are higher then the pair they have. This will give them a decent chance to win, but the same chance of losing. Depending on how good you feel about a 50/50 chance would depend on whether or not it would be worth it for you to go All In before the flop with a hand like that. It is not uncommon to see people do this. If you are hoping for a chance to get a three of a kind then this is probably not smart to go after. The chances of this happening are very slim. In fact you would only have a little under an eleven percent chance of getting a set on the flop.

As far as preflop action goes, it really depends on the player when it comes to deciding how valuable a mid pocket pair is. When it comes to playing the hand out, this is a different story. Your pocket pair can really pay off it you manage to hit that set that you have an 11% chance to do. If you hit it, nobody will expect it and you will get paid off most of the time.

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Say there are 5 people in the hand after the flop and you have pocket 8,s with $300.00 in the pot.

The flop = 8(s) K(c) A(d)

Now, before the flop we will pretend that there was a raise and a few callers. At this point we can assume that someone has an Ace and probably a king too. You just hit a monster hand that nobody will ever be able to put you on. You can basically just sit back and watch fireworks go off, and in the end you will end up making a lot of money. It is the best situation to be in, and it is almost always worth giving it a try.
When is it not worth taking the 11% chance?

Back to what is so often talked about; Pot Odds.

If there is not enough money in the pot before the flop then you should not take the chance. There should also be a good chance of a lot more money going into the pot if you do hit your set (known as implied pot odds). If the pot odds and the implied pot odds are right, meaning that if you do hit your set you will get paid off in a huge way, then you should always go for it. You should never put all of your money on the line in hopes to catch trips. If you know that someone else has a pocket pair higher then yours, you have a very big chance to lose. There is never a need to put your money in the middle when you know you are beat.

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