Two Pairs

With two pair hands we are finally getting into the territory of stuff that we can play strongly. While not all two pair hands are created equal, most of the time you should be playing them very aggressively and often for stacks. The reason is pretty simple; it is hard for them to have better. In fact a lot of the time if they do happen to have something better, it is just a cooler.

Example:

You have,

The flop comes,

If they happen to have,

here for instance this is just a cooler. We are going to lose our stack or a big portion of it every time. There are just far too many other hands that they can be overvaluing here such as a worse two pair or an ace. 55 simply represents the absolute top of their range. The great thing about poker however is that the shoe will always be on the other foot one day and they will go broke here against you as well.

But there are some other two pair spots where playing an enormous pot probably isn’t in our best interest.

Example:

In the BB you have,

The flop comes,

There is no reason to play a huge pot here, especially if there are a lot of people involved. In fact I would almost always play this hand very passively. There are so many more hands that can beat us now such as a flush and higher two pairs. Our hand looks fairly good but it is difficult to get a lot of good action. That is, we are not nearly as likely to play a big pot here against something that we crush like in the last example.

So you will definitely have to use some discretion in two pair spots. However most of the time when you have two pair you should be playing it really strong. You shouldn’t be pot controlling the turn anywhere near as much with these types of hands.

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