Pocket Pairs and How They Work in Texas Hold ‘Em?

Texas Hold 'Em

A pocket pair is one of the most common and exciting applications in the game of Texas Hold ’em. The reason is that this category is quite powerful if played in the right manner and it can also help the player win some serious profits. In the same way, if played without precaution, it can put a dent in said profit. It is necessary for each player to understand the game so that they can avoid some of the biggest errors that are generally made by new players.

What is a pocket pair?

For experienced players, they may be well versed with the term pocket pair, however, for new players, this can be a game changer. When playing a game of poker, it is possible that the player has been dealt with two similar ranking cards, like an Ace-Ace or 3-3, this means that they have been given a pocket pair. The value of both the cards are different from one another, however, they do belong to the same category which can increase the chances of them winning the game.

What are the different types of Pocket pairs?

Experienced players may already know that there are 3 different categories of pocket pairs –

  • Premium Category
  • Medium Category
  • Small/Low Category

1. Premium Category

This is the top category of cards that the player can hold before the final flop. The pocket pairs in this category include Ace-Ace, K-K, Q-Q, and J-J. While the value of a pair of Jacks can be argued according to the situation, the rest of them surely hold high value. For any player who is new to the game, Q-Q or better is definitely a great start to the game. Another thing to keep in mind while holding premium category cards is that their value increases as the number of players decrease because it is almost rare to get beaten in the game by a single player.

2. Medium Category

It is almost difficult to come up with a strategy that will help you win with a medium category pocket pair. This category includes T-T, 9-9, 8-8, and 7-7. The best strategy for this game is to try and understand the hands played by the rest of the players and then go into a flop. If playing against a single player, it is possible to win with the medium category cards, however, if there are more players, the best thing to do is fold and move on.

3. Small/Low Category

A small/low category is the most difficult to win with. This category includes 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, and 2-2. These cards generally have a lot of potentials, but they are difficult to win with because it is difficult for the player to understand when the time for the right flop is, but it does not come as often as the player would like. The strategy with a low category is that the player should play small bets before a flop and win from the opponent when they have a top pair/ top kicker in their hand.

Things to understand when playing with Pocket pairs

Although there are 3 different categories of pocket pairs in the game, they come with different strategies as well. There are some things that new as well as experienced players must keep in mind when they are playing with pocket pairs –

1. Position in the game

If the player has a premium category pocket, then the position in the game is not as important, however, if they have weaker pairs, then they should be in a position that is relative to their opponents. This will give them an idea as to what strategies the other players are using and how they can win.

2. Effective stack

This is one of the most important steps in Texas Hold ’em. If the player has a small pocket pair, they must set their game against the opponent who is starting small. If they start bigger, you must fold.

3. Player give-aways

It is necessary for the players to understand the tendencies and give-aways of their opponents if they want to stand a chance at winning. Low stacks or high stacks may give away the type of cards held by the opponent which should determine your game.


There are several different strategies when it comes to games like Texas Hold ’em. Every player must understand that a pocket pair can be a powerful hand if played the right way. Always try and understand the strategies of the opponents and then play your hand which may provide you with an upper hand at winning the game.

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