One of my many, many readers has asked me to elaborate on how I play (overbet) middle pairs. First let me start by saying that I've been playing no limit texas hold 'em for almost ten years, and I'm still learning every day. What I do is try to make little adjustments on specific hands and see how these adjustments hold up long term. If they do well, I keep them.
And yes I've read alot of poker books - probably too many. Most are a waste of money but a couple are really worth reading. Like Gus Hansen's Every Hand Revealed, and of course Super System.
Middle pairs are a tough hand to play and the worst way to play them is by limping in. You likely have the best hand preflop and giving your opponents free cards to beat you with is bad. The other possibility is a standard raise, like 3 times the blind, meh, not my preferred option either. I like to bet middle pairs and big pairs the same way. THE SAME WAY for the whole game.
Keep in mind that I play tight and aggressive. I don't play many pots, but when I do baby, I ain't limping in. So people at the table can tell I play selectively. And when I get pocket 8's and raise to 5-6 times the big blind - a few things can happen:
1. Everyone folds to me and I pick up the blinds. I like this! I get some chips and don't have to face anyone.
2. I get called by one person (two people at most but it's usually one or none). I don't mind this because if he's calling me I know that most likely he has two high cards - I get a little information going into the flop, and giving me information is BAD. If I raised 3 times the blind I MIGHT get a call by a suited connector, say a 6-7or a 9-10, but if the bet is 6 times the blind, most of the time Mr. Suited Connector has enough sense not to gamble that many chips against me.
3. And then there's the flop - I like looking at the flop against one opponent. There's alot of money in the pot and I like to take it down right here. If the flop is lower than my pair - I'm betting pot. If you've come along this far it's gonna cost you maybe the whole tourney to suck out on me. If the flop has one over card - same deal. One over card means there are only 3 cards in the deck that can beat me - if he has one, I'll find out right now or I win the pot.
This strategy works much more often than it doesn't - but it's part of a larger scheme of playing tight and betting strong with good hands. Like I said, very rarely do I limp. I'd rather toss my pair than call with it, and I've done that, when facing a big raise. I like raising big, not so much calling big.
Hey little college boy, did I justify my overbetting middle pairs? I'd like your opinion!
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