How to Play Middle Pocket Pairs
Middle pocket pairs (5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8) will give you relatively more options in poker than would small pocket pairs, however, playing with them can be quite challenging. The best outcome of using them in the game would be hitting a set. Owing to this, you may get the chance to steal the pot. This is contingent on the position in which you are when you enter the pot. You may either choose to limp to the pot with a hand of middle wire pairs or raise them at the right street. Here are the different positions that you may be in when you have middle pocket pairs:
In the early position, if you have middle pocket pairs you can opt for one of two actions: fold or raise. If you have a hand of 5-5, 6-6 or 7-7, your decision to play should be based on your table image. If you are able to indicate to your opponents that you have a strong hand by raising, you should do so.
On the other hand, if you are certain that you will not be able to achieve this, it is best to fold. In this situation, if you have Pocket 8s, you can raise without considering your table image, as the hand itself is now considered strong. If another player re-raises you in a later position and you opt to call, you will be out of position for the remainder of the hand. On the other hand, call if you feel that the opponent is one that can be outplayed after the flop.
In the Middle Position
If you enter the pot first, you will have to raise. When only few players remain behind you, you will have a hand of value. If a player calls ahead of you, opt to call, as you will still be in position in relation to this player. When someone raises ahead of you, consider the player, his hand and your position. If the price that you get is right, then you can call. However, you will have to be cautious after the flop.
In the Late Position
In this position, you will have to follow the same play as that for the middle position. However, there will be one key difference. If there are players who are limping to the pot, you will be able to eliminate some of them if you raise from the late position. It will continue to be beneficial in case you are faced with a player who calls.
In the Blinds
If you are in the small blind with a middle pocket pair, you can opt for one of two steps: raise or call. On the other hand, if you are faced with the big blind, you will have to compulsorily place a raise. In case, you are faced with two players who call in the big blind, it is best to check. This will then give you the opportunity to catch the set. Also, if you feel that a hand can be taken down by raising, opt to over-bet the pot as this can raise your chances of stealing the pot.