Set mining is a popular concept in Texas Hold ‘Em poker, and refers to the process of calling a pre-flop raise with a low pocket pair (usually 55 and below) with the intention of hitting a set. Beginner pokerrepublik players tend to abuse this concept way too often and use it to justify poor players on their part, or lose their money to more experienced players. Here are a few common scenarios when you shouldn’t be set mining.
- Do not set mining your strong hands pre-flop when you are in early position.
If you have a hand like suited connectors (JQ, 7 for example) or small pairs, you want to be doing this in late position. Winners will not be likely to call you pre-flop with such hands and you’re giving away unnecessary value to your hand. You need a stronger hand in early position to set mine.
- Do not set mine when there are raises in front of you.
If there are hands in front of you, you should always wait for the flop to see who is going to play in the hand and assess your hand carefully to determine if you should set mine. For instance, Q-10 or 5-7 against A-J would probably not be set mine unless the board is quite dry. Statistically at the early position you will not be set mining profitablely if you hit a set in three streets or less.
- Do not set mine if your opponents are likely to re-raise you back.
If you are not confident you will get paid off when you hit your set, then do not set mine. If you are not confident your hand will not be better than a set in three streets or less, then you probably shouldn’t be set mining. This mindset is easily explained by an example. Let’s say you are set mining for double suited + tv on the flop and the flop is As-5h-2h. You are the first to act so you bet out 75 and your opponent in the BB calls out 100. You have just made a bad mistake betting out 100 when you probably should have checked/limped behind. Your problem is that you gave yourself 5 chips to work with when you should have set mine on the flop. Further, if your opponents are likely to re-raise you back on the flop you are not set mining at all and should fold.
- Do not set mine when there are flush or straight draws on the flop.
Don’t set mine if there is a flush or straight draw on the flop. You will just waste your money as someone with a high flush or straight draw has a great chance of hitting it and beating you.
- Do not set mine if you have a draw to the low.
If you have a draw to the low, you probably have your opponent dead. You need to make a decision here and either let the low draw win, or bet out so you can make your dream of hitting the low draw a reality.
- Do not set mine if your opponent has a flush or straight draw.
Again, if your opponent has a draw, you are probably drawing dead. You need to make a decision here and either let the flush draw to win, or bet out so you can make your dream of hitting the low draw a reality.
- Do not set mine if there are higher cards on the board that can potentially beat you.
Sometimes you are unlucky and your high pair loses to a higher pair. Maybe your Ace King hits the flop, and your opponent still has top pair. What I urge you to do in this case is check the next streets. Even if you think you may have the best hand, hitting your set is 50%-50% and most times your opponent will win.
Why is there not more value for you in 6-max cash games?
- You can potentially steal the blinds with small pairs.
- You can potentially steal the blinds with small suited cards, so you don’t need to commit your chips to the pot to do so.
- When you hit your set on the flop you can win the blinds if no one else has limped in with a set, and the price is low enough that you will call most times.
- Since you can potentially win the blinds in this situation, there is not really a point in limping in and calling from middle position with small suited cards, since you are sure your opponent has you beat.
- There is rarely a point in calling a raise if you have a limped pot, since your pot odds will be very low and you are not really setting yourself up for a winning hand if you limp your way into the blinds.