Five Quick Tips—How to Play Two Pair

GLOBAL POKER’S
FIVE QUICK TIPS

HOW TO PLAY TWO PAIR IN POKER

Two pair is one of the better lower ranked hands, but also has the versatility to create higher combinations. If you’re lucky, you might hit a full house, four of a kind or a flush. Most of the time, however, you’ll be left with just two pair. It can be tricky playing two pair, it's a good enough hand to invest some chips in but can also come with significant risk if you don't know when to back down and fold. Here are five quick tips for playing two pair in poker.

1. PLAY AGGRESSIVELY

Two pair is a decent hand, but you still don't want to end up at the river too often. Ideally, the hand will be over by the turn, or before. This requires you to be very aggressive during the betting phase after the flop. Make a large bet, six times the big blind, plus an extra blind for every other player still in the hand, don't be afraid to re-raise. If you are forced to keep playing to the river, try to scare everyone else out of the pot in the initial rounds. Best case scenario, you are heads up against only one other player by the river. Playing aggressively should be your first strategy after hitting two pair, anything less isn’t going to cut it.

2. DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK

Once you’ve hit your two pair, make a decision how many chips you are willing to risk. There will come a time when your opponent has better cards, and no amount of aggressive betting will make them fold. In this situation, you need to decide how much you are willing to risk on re-raising to scare people out of the hand.

3. BE READY TO FOLD

Once you hit your betting limit, be ready to fold. Sometimes, no matter how well you play a hand, there is no way to win. Watch out for tells, and indicators that your opponent has a strong hand. If in doubt, fold. It's better to save your chips and live to play another day than risk it all on two pair.

4. DON'T BLUFF TOO OFTEN

Bluffing can be a valuable tactic for winning big pots when the cards aren't going your way. Doing it every round, however, with only two pair can become a very costly venture. Poker is a game of deceit and skill, and once other players figure out your playing style, it's all over. Therefore, bluff sparingly; otherwise, you may find your stack disappearing fast.

5. IF YOU HAVE TWO PAIR, SO DOES SOMEONE ELSE

Pocket pairs are extremely common; if you are playing with a full table, you will most likely encounter at least one every round. Which means, if you have a pocket pair, and a pair comes out on the flop, there might be another person out there lurking with two pair as well. Keep this in mind when you're planning out a strategy for the round.