As you play Texas Holdem, what do you do with medium pockets pairs (sevens, eights, or nines)? The instant gut reaction of most every Texas Hold’em Poker gambler when they’re dealt any sort of pocket pair is to hang in there and play. It’s a pair, after all. The problem with pocket 7s, 8s and 9s is that they are so prone to overpairs.
If you make it to the flop with such a hand, any overcard on the flop becomes a menace to your hand. With medium pocket pairs, caution is the operative term. You could want to exhibit some strength to the blinds with a raise if you are in a late position and the first 1 to enter the pot, but be prepared to toss your hand in the muck if they re-raise.
If you make it to the flop in online betting, your medium pairs are to be played cautiously unless of course you flop a set. With medium pocket pairs, that is basically the bottom line. When facing stress, you flop a set or you get out.
It’s prudent to limp in from an early position and to fold if a bettor raises. You just have to face the fact going in with medium pocket pairs that you don’t have the striking power to get into a raise battle with other gamblers who are most likely holding better hands.
You might have to play your medium pocket pairs differently than you would in a cash game scenario in a No Limit Texas Hold’em Tournament situation. If your poker chip stack is low you could have to force the action/issue and get ambitious with your medium pocket pairs. That is really about the sole time you need to force the issue with these hands.
At times you will see players from an early placement get very aggressive and raise with medium pocket pairs intending to scare away other players, figuring that in a worst case situation, they’ve still got a pair and can draw for a set if they’re called. Some players will even call a raise with their medium pocket pairs to see the flop, depending on who may raise (if it is a “maniac”). In the long run this is seldom rewarding since if you don’t flop a set (and most times you won’t) the hand will probably be a loser.
Medium pocket pairs are an all or nothing sort of hand in No Limit Texas Hold’em. If you can get in cheaply then you have a possibility to hit a big hand by flopping a set. If not, the hand should really be folded.