Low – Mid Pocket Pairs in 6+

In this article we will have a deeper look into low to mid pocket pairs and how they perform in the great game of Six Plus Holdem.

Hands from pocket 6s to pocket 10s are the ones in question and many people tend to overplay those, mostly by calling a large isolation raise out of position. Other common mistakes are raising those first in or against limpers. Unlike in regular NLHE, we barely ever flop an overpair and even if we do so, we are not a big equity favorite against the majority of villains calling range. This being said, pocket pairs are played to flop a set which is going to happen roughly 17% of the time, compared to 12% in no-limit hold’em.

Let’s look at some hand examples to get a better understanding:

Hand ex. 1:

Hero: 88

Flop: 8-9-T rainbow

Villains get it in range: 99, TT, QJ, TJ

If we give villain a tight GII range we would only be having 49% equity, if we add hands such as KJ & AJ, we are a 59% favorite. This example shows you that a low set on a lockdown board is fairly vulnerable and is oftentimes running into bigger hands.

We can still set mine in many spots, but we should consider folding our low pocket in scenarios where we are out of position against a decent regular, or when we are heads up, unless you are facing a weaker opponent. The reason is obvious, a good regular will unlikely stack off with top pair, so even if we hit our set, we are not getting the right implied odds to set mine profitably. On aggressive tables we could even fold pocket 6s and 7s from early position, first in.

How do we perform with mid pockets in all-in scenarios?

Here’s another example to illustrate that we are rarely ever in great shape if we would be getting it in with a mid pocket pair against a somewhat standard shoving range, if we face an open shove or a limp/shove after we decide to ISO raise with a mid pocket pair:

Keep Note: This doesn’t mean that we would not be shoving with a hand like pocket tens ourselves, especially if we had around 50-75 antes. If you are interested in how to adjust your preflop ranges with more shallow stacks, you should check out our 50 ante Vol. 1 & 2. It gives good insights on how to play first in and against limpers, with a stacksize of 50-75 antes.

Below is the first-in Hi-Jack position from our volume 1 50 ante SHC first-in:

You can see that a hand like TT is +EV to open jam, while 99 or 88 should be a limp/call multiway. If we are facing only one raise and we would end up heads up, they should go into the muck, unless we are facing a small ISO raise and/or our opponent is a weaker player.

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