View Full Version : Card odds VS pot odds with small pairs

12-07-2003, 03:37 PM
Somebody help, please. My math is OK, but my knowledge of statistics is probably no better than anyone else's. (Sklansky and other math buffs excepted.)

If I have a small pocket pair. 9's or smaller. The Poker Odds calculator at Cardplayer.com says my pair is a better 2 cards than about anything other than a bigger pair. 33 is 50.2% VS AKs 49.8% and 99 is a lot better. About 55/45.

My calculation says I'm going to flop trips 12% of the time. 2 remaining cards out of 50 is 1/25=.04 times 3 cards is 12%. I have to assume that with 2-4 players staying in for the flop, somebody probably has a Q, K, or A. Therefore if I see big overcards I'm going to fold unless I hit the trip.

The rub is that I can't ever justify the bet based on pot odds. If I'm in the small blind, everybody stays in for one bb bet, when it comes to me there are 8 bb's in the pot on a 9 seat table. My pot odds are 1 in 8, while the probablility of hitting the trips are 1 in 8 1/2. A lot worse if 2, 3, or 4 people are betting. The only time the pot odds could justify a bet are if everyone is in for one bet on a 10 seat table.

The logic leads to the idea of folding any pair smaller than JJ, or maybe TT because there just aren't enough outs.

Somebody educate me. It just seems that always folding any small pair is not right.

DrPhysic /images/graemlins/crazy.gif

12-07-2003, 03:58 PM
Small pairs thrive on implied odds. With small pairs you are really hoping to flop a set. If you don't you usually will fold. You are correct in that you are roughly an 8-1 dog to flop a set when holding a pair. However, if you can get about 5-1 on your money preflop, then the small pair is probably playable. The reason is that if you do hit your set, you figure that you can make up the 3 sb that you are short preflop, with bets you will collect on the flop, turn and river. Anything you make beyond the 3sb on later streets is your "profit" or overlay. If your opponents are poor and they tend to chase too much, then you can likely play small pairs getting less than 5-1 preflop, since they will be more likely to pay you off if you do hit your set.

It appears you are looking for immediate pot odds to justify playing your small pairs, which is very unlikely to happen. With a small pair you don't mind "overpaying" a little preflop, because if you hit your set, your preflop invesetment will be paid back in full plus some.

12-07-2003, 04:11 PM
implied odds! you expect to win money after the flop if you hit a set, right? it is definitely okay to assume you'll win something later on and call with 'incorrect' pot odds...especially at no-limit.

12-07-2003, 04:15 PM
Sorry, insufficient information. I should have specified that I am playing $1/2 to $3/6 limit.


12-07-2003, 08:12 PM
You have : 8/images/graemlins/heart.gif8/images/graemlins/spade.gif
They have : A/images/graemlins/diamond.gifQ/images/graemlins/club.gif

Flop is: A/images/graemlins/heart.gifQ/images/graemlins/diamond.gif8/images/graemlins/club.gif
Turn is: 2/images/graemlins/spade.gif
River is: 6/images/graemlins/heart.gif

How many chips are you going to win when it's all said and done with?

A lot.