Straight Flush | Small or Medium Pairs
Small or Medium Pairs
Small pairs are played the same as the middle pairs except that, they are more vulnerable. You will have to be much more careful when you think that you are beat. And it is more likely that a pair of threes is going to be outrun than a pair of eights.
The main importance is your kicker/ side-card: The bigger the better. You cannot make a big two-pair if you start with a small kicker. Any kind of improvement at fourth-street is likely to be two-pair than to trips. Supposed that your cards are live, there are three cards you can catch to make two-pair and two cards to make trips.
Small pair virtually plays better if they are hidden
With your small pair in the hole, your kicker is your upcard and it will be big. Such kind of hand is among the most difficult for your rivals to read. If you have the high upcard and don't raise they will likely put you on a drawing hand (perhaps a big straight or high flush). When you trip up at fourth-street with the same suit as your high doorcard, many rivals at the medium and lower limits will be certain that you are on a flush draw.
At fourth-street when you pair your doorcard, they might misread you again, perhaps putting you on a three-flush with a big pair.
A small pair with a small kicker is also playable, but not often. You can play them in two cases, first, when you are in late position with no risk of getting raised and second when you think you can ante-steal with them for a late position.
It is always possible to make a straight flush. How many have you made straight flush in your poker-playing life career? It occur about 1-in-66 times you start with this hand. That's a probability of 1.49 percent.
If you have three high cards to a straight flush, you can play it in two ways. First, if two (or three) of your three high cards are overcards to the board and if they are live, consider raising, especially in late position with three or four players having already limped into the pot. If you miss most of them, you have provided protection for your hand when you pair up on fourth-street and you have gotten some dead money into the pot (money put in by players no longer active in the hand.) If you stay with most of them, you have good odds for drawing to a straight or a flush (or even a straight flush) if one of those hands falls to you on fourth-street of 7-card stud poker.
With the same situation in early position the object of your raise would be to limit the field hoping to make an overpair at fourth-street. But if your cards are not live, you will be in danger with a raise because there is not much chance for the overpair and there is not enough money in the pot to give you the correct money odds for drawing to a straight or flush. Therefore limp in.
If three-to-a straight flush starting hand doesn't have overcards, it is not that strong. You have no chance to make an overpair.
What you have at third-street are two starting hands: a small three-straight and a small three-flush. That too will get many players excited, being able to go for two hands. But maybe they don't have as much as they think.
Of course everyone will hate small straights. There is no way a small straight draw can become a big flush by catching two or three high suited cards. You will call a raise with this hand, but you won't be the raiser.
When you start with three-to-a straight flush, your observations must be quick enough because there are so many more exposed cards in other players' hands – the three ranks that will pair you; the number of your suit that are out, and how many of your straight cards are exposed.
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