Third street ->> Low Pairs


Play of small pairs (deuces through fives) would be much the same as play of middle pairs in poker.

The major difference that would arise concerns the kicker, which would be essential to consider if you were thinking of playing a small pair.

When playing the small pair, it would have been crucial that either you should have had a big kicker or that all of your cards had needed to improve to trips were live.

Ideally, both of these would have been the case. If you were to have had a dead kicker, you could have limped in with your low pair anyway, but all of your needed cards for trips should have been live.

It didn’t take a professional to see what would have happened if your kicker had been low. The odds would have favored your improving to two pair before improving to trips, so having had a lousy kicker could have just gotten you into trouble should you have improved to two pair.

That said, could a medium or low two pair have ever been played? Yes, in certain poker situations, which will be covered at the fourth street.

In poker, having had your pair hidden would always have been better than having had a split pair, but that would have been especially true with small pairs.

As with middle pairs, if you should have paired your visible big kicker, several players would have believed you had trips.

For instance, suppose you had been in middle position and had a pair of treys in the hole with a king on the board, when playing poker.

You could have limped in for a dollar, and you could have picked up another king. This would have given you a great two pair, and many of your opponents would have feared that you had trips.

As a result, you could have forced them out by playing that two pair hard.


When playing poker, several players have been tempted to play any pair – even a split pair of deuces with a four for a kicker and a dead deuce.

They had that mindset that any pair had been better than nothing, and it had been hard to shake. It had been particularly tempting to play any pair when you’d been dealt absolutely nothing for an hour.

In fact, during one session of poker, in which Peter had gone a long time without playing a hand, he once had caught himself raising with a split pair of sixes and a nine kicker!

Could a low pair with a mediocre kicker have been played at all? Yes, it could, but you should have been certain of two things.

One was that there had been next to zero chance you would have been raised (and that would have been highly unlikely).

Ideally, when playing poker, you would have been in late position, so you would have already known what the other players had done.

Secondly, you would have wanted all of your needed cards for trips to be live unless your kicker had been excellent – if even one had been gone, then, unless you had been the bring-in, you should have been gone too.

Quick Guide….
….To low Pairs on third street :

CALL if you have a good kicker and live cards, and you’re confident that the pot will not be raised. With low pairs, you want to stay in for as few chips as possible.

FOLD if someone has completed the poker betting, unless you know that player to be very loose – no need to start out from behind. You also need to fold if one of your cards to improve to trips is dead or if you have a lousy kicker.