Hidden pair or split pair – distinguish? Significant value and amount of return on your money invested with a hidden pair
Calling the raise will cost you the same amount of money. But when you improve your hidden pair of trips, your rival won't be able to see that and will continue to play. When you improve the split pair by pairing your doorcard, your hand is obvious and your rival might probably fold. So in the first case, you figure to make a lot more money than in the second case, but it costs you the same amount either way. You get a better return on your investment for the same amount of money.
At these limits, many players will fold when a rival pairs his doorcard, obviously fearing of trips. But don't fold automatically. Whether you play or fold depends on the value of his (probable) trips and the size and strength of your pair.
Suppose at third-street you started with a hidden pair of jacks in a raised pot. The raise comes from a ten and you are sure because of the other cards showing on the board and because of your knowledge of your rival that he has a pair of tens. Another player calls, showing a four. You know that if that player had three fours, he would have raised or re-raised on fourth-street. Therefore his most likely hand is two small pair, with his top pair probably being sevens or eights. Your pair is higher than either of his pairs. If your cards are live, including your kickers, call.
But suppose that a jack raised on third-street and a queen re-raised. Remember players at the middle or lower limits almost always have what they are representing, so if either of them pairs his doorcard at fourth-street, he has trips. Even if you have a pair of aces, you should check at these limits, unless your cards are all live and his cards are dead. Then consider taking off another card for the small half-bet on fourth-street. But always be careful.
You want to avoid chasing any pair that is higher than your pair unless you have a couple of overcards to your rival's pair, and your cards are all live while his are not, or your pair is hidden.
If you have started with a pair of queens and have not improved on fourth-street and if your rival's board now shows an ace and a king, even if you think he doesn't have a pair of either of them, you are not in a good position to show a profit if his cards are live. And if one of your queens is gone, which depletes your chances of making trips, you are likely about to become a contributor.
If you suspect that your rival has two pair while you still have only one pair, you can play if your pair is higher than either of his suspected pairs and if your cards are live. Or else just fold.
If no one has improved and you think that your high pair is the best hand, bet the maximum. You would like to win or set yourself up to take it with a fifth-street bet if you catch a scare card. If your high pair has improved to trips, refer to chapter eighteen.
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