Finally! You’ve flopped that two pair you’ve been waiting for.
You’re already smiling inside, thinking how you’re gonna scoop this pot. But what should you do to win the biggest possible pot?
That’s what I’m going to cover in this UFABET article because, as you’ll see, it’s not always best to play two pair fast.
Not All Two Pairs Are Created Equal
Some two pairs are worth more than others. The true value of a two pair hand boils down to three variables:
- The flop texture.
- How the flop interacts with your opponent’s range.
- Which specific two pair you have.
Let’s first talk about flop texture and the interaction it has with your opponent’s range. Each flop has a certain amount of possible nutted and near-nutted hands. Each board also has different hand strength ceilings:
- On some boards the hand strength ceiling is a set (think K♦ 8♥ 5♣).
- Other boards add the possibility of straights (think 9♣ 7♦ 5♥).
- The ceiling lifts to a flush on monotone boards (like 8♠ 6♠ 3♠).
- This ceiling can even be a straight flush (like on 9♥ 8♥ 7♥) or a mighty royal flush (Q♠ J♠ T♠).
Think about the value of two pair on each of these example boards. Two pair is sitting pretty on K♦ 8♥ 5♣, but the same hand strength shrivels up a bit on 8♠ 6♠ 3♠ and even more so on 9♥ 8♥ 7♥. This makes it pretty clear how a two pair should be valued very differently depending on the texture.
Note that the hand strength ceiling can be different than the nuts. For example, suppose you raise in early position, I 3-bet from middle position and you call. If the flop comes 7♠ 5♠ 3♥, the hand strength ceiling is a set — not a straight — because neither of us are likely to have the one possible straight (6-4) in our range.
The final thing to consider is which specific two pair you are holding. Despite their similarities, 9-8 on a 9-8-4 flop should sometimes be played differently than, say, 5-4 on a K54 flop.
Let’s dive into a few example hands so you can get a handle on how different two pair hands are best played.