Letting Go of Big Pocket Pairs in NL Texas Hold Em

Everybody likes to see a big pocket pair. K-K, Q-Q, even J-J is pretty nice to look down and see in your hand. However, many internet players have a hard time knowing when to lay these pairs down. It is never fun to go from the euphoric feeling of having pocket K’s to have to contemplate folding them, but it is a necessary skill that will often separate the men from the boys in internet NL Texas Hold em.

For example, you are in middle position with K-K. You make a pretty standard raise of 2.5X the BB and get a call from the Button and both blinds. The Flop comes A-T-4 rainbow. The action comes to you, you bet 2/3 the pot and the Button raises you. You have to make a decision to call his raise and see the Turn (which is likely what I would do) or lay it down right here (not recommended) depending on if you have a read as to what type of player he is, but it is likely he has an Ace or one of the blinds does.

Yes, it sucks to have a monster like K-K and then see an Ace on the Turn, but remember, internet players will play nearly 홀덤 any Ace and if you get one raising or re-raising you, he probably has one.  It is much better to lay down K-K than it is to showdown and see that you are beaten by some noodle with A-4 off suit!

Not becoming too attached to your big hands is very hard, but especially in tournament play, it is essential that you are able to lay one down when you are obviously beaten.

I am NOT saying that you should turn tail and run at the first site of an over-card to your high pair, but if you meet continued resistance, then no amount of “hoping” is going to make those K’s better than Ace’s.

A continuation bet is ALWAYS in order when you have a big pair and an Ace comes on the board. I have won many hands with Q-Q and bet into a flop of A-K-5. Remember, bets and raises look like Ace’s to other players, so there is no need to throw a  big hand away too early. Just have enough sense to know when your big hand is no longer good. This is one of the toughest things to learn in poker, but one that your bankroll will thank you for in the long run.


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