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playing top pair

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  • playing top pair

    i am having difficulty playing post flop with a top pair. say 9s 10s or jacks and medium kicker. can anyone help?

  • #2
    **moved to more appropriate forum JWK24**

    As with most hands... it depends. Top pair, is always going to be a vulnerable hand, especially if it is not a premium pair. I'll play them very cautiously and see what happens later in the hand (position will also be a BIG key for me).

    John (JWK24)
    Super-Moderator



    6 Time Bracelet Winner


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    • #3
      As John says it all depends on position, players to act after you and if you are in a MTT or SnG then what the blind level is.
      Bracelet Winner

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      • #4
        Hi Joybluffer, it depends on a few things.

        You are suggesting you play hands like Jack/nine etc.

        And then on the flop after hitting top pair there is a uncertainty.

        OK, I will start by saying in early positions, hands like J9 should not be played but this depends on how many people are on your table.

        If in late position J9s etc are ok to call preflop as long you are getting the right price.

        To be honest unless you are a LAG player, or can read specific players, group two and 3 hands should be mucked preflop.

        There is no advice I could give on playing top pair, low kicker on any flop, as to be in that situation in the first place is just generally not good play.

        Either take it down preflop with 3bets or 4bets, or just muck it.

        Do not put yourself in tricky spots, avoid this always.

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        • #5
          If you have J, T, or 9 with a medium kicker, you're probably playing suited connectors and one-gappers like J9, T9, 98. With these hands, ideally you want to flop two pairs, trips, or a flush/straight draw. One pair is rarely going to be good at showdown (even top pair top kicker with AK loses pretty often), and the turn and river will usually bring scary overcards. When you make a weak one pair hand, play cautiously. By all means make a c-bet or call one, but be prepared to muck if you face resistance and don't improve to 2pr+. Checking on later streets may also get you to a cheap showdown, but I'd often check-fold a hand like T9 on T62 when the turn comes after being called on the flop, as villain either has you beat already, will make a bigger pair, or has plenty of equity with a combo draw.
          If you keep finding yourself in tricky spots post-flop, then part of your problem is the mistake you made PRE-flop. If you can't play tricky hands like T9 profitably, then it's perfectly fine to fold them. Learn to play "big cards" (and pairs) profitably before you move on to trickier hands like suited connectors.
          Bracelet Winner

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          • #6
            JWK24, Ovalman, holdemace486, ArtySmokesPS. Thank you for your feedback. It appears i used to overrate a top pair after flop. I often tried to muscle out other players with a top pair on the flop. Worked out pretty well with my novice friends but in online MTT or SNG it didnt work. Your feedback has improved my game.umbup:

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            • #7
              Well, in my opinion, if you have a top pair, you should make a small bet. If somebody reraises you, you should fold. It would be very risky to call a higher raise with this one pair. But you have to decide, this is only my opinion

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