As much as peter loved trips, he knew there were times when they could burn him. Two pair was even more difficult.
He’s since learned to play it properly, but it still gave him a lot of anxiety. So you could have avoided the difficulty he’s had in these poker situations, Peter will now teach you how to play this troublesome hand.
As with trips, the key would have been looking for reasons not to play this hand aggressively or to muck it before it had gotten you into trouble.
When peter had been new to the game, two pair had usually been an automatic call for him, because he really had no idea how to the play hand.
He had not wanted to fold, since he had thought he had a decent chance to get a full house. At the same time, he hadn’t wanted to raise, because he truly had not felt all that comfortable with the hand. It had seemed too mediocre of a hand.
So, he would tell himself ‘just call’. But ‘just calling’ with this hand, as tempting as it had been to do, was often a big mistake.
WHEN TO PLAY AND WHEN TO RUN
Here’s the first rule of stud poker, when you have two pair: you would not want to play the hand if more than one of your cards to improve was gone and there were other pairs on the board bigger than yours.
In stud poker, if all four of your cards to fill up were live, you would still have been an underdog (3.5-to-1) to get a full house. Those odds certainly wouldn’t have improved as play had progressed. When playing stud poker, if more than two of your cards had been gone, it would have been important that you had a great two pair – jacks up or better.
With anything that had been less than that and more than two cards needed to fill up being gone, the odds would have been against you unless the board had looked very weak in stud poker.
You should have simply limped in cheaply so you could have gotten to the fifth street if there had been no higher pair on the board, and folded it there ha been a lot of action.
When playing stud poker in late position, even if you had raised, most poker players would have wanted to see the fifth street, so it would have been much more likely that the drawing hand and marginal poker hand would have stuck around despite your raise.
When their money was in the pot, they wouldn’t have let a raise scare them off. Still, you should have raised in late position if you had believed you could get some poker players to drop – getting even one poker player out would have meant one fewer poker player who could have outdrawn you.