Playing small cards in Texas hold’em is frequently problematic simply because the game is established around big cards and folding small cards – especially after the flop, is quite often the correct play. Sure it is tough to throw away a low pair or a draw, but every once in awhile hands with potential like this can win monster pots because your opponent will usually not have any estimate of what you’re playing.
Now keep in mind that Texas hold’em is a betting game, and most players tend to play cards that led them to bet on their strength alone. That in general means face cards and aces. In that sense most of the hands you play holding lower pairs and connectors are going to be chip burners. The strategy however is to keep the pots small and get to see a affordable flop.
There is a way to make these hands profitable long-term, and that commonly means one of, or a combination of position, opponent profiling, and pot size. When you play these hands in position you are less likely to be re-raised pre-flop, permitting you to see the flop for cheap. You want to be able to do this to keep your entry costs low, while still maintaining your win potential much higher.
Another good opportunity to play these potential hands is versus loose aggressive opponents who cannot control themselves. Often times their aggression factor, and the amount of chips they are prepared to risk a single play can result in a deep pot by virtue of their ignorance of the flop chemistry. This happens all the time in poker, and one or two hands like this during the entire sitting will boost your bankroll. You just have to recognize that particular scenario where someone is likely to make a big mistake.
The amount of money in the pot already can be an incentive when calling in late position a multi-way pot. When holding hands like this against multiple opponents, you are going to have an easier decision after the flop as to what to do, and if you get a huge draw or a set, you may be able to keep numerous players in the pot to pay you off big. You will normally make far more money playing these hands in multi-player pots, and when the flop is really good for you, a double or triple up is very common.
So when playing weaker hands, you should always be looking for implied odds situations where the prospective for payout is huge, even though your hand is considered weak.