One of the most interesting (and potentially profitable) aspects of poker is that there are dozens of strategies at your disposal. While some players will rely upon intuition, bluffing or reading their opponents, others embrace what can only be called a slightly more scientific approach. One example of this preference can be seen in what is often referred to as “set mining”. What is set mining and how might it be able to dramatically improve your odds of winning a hand?
What is Set Mining?
In order to understand set mining, we first need to define a poker set. A poker set is simple three of a kind. Sets are arguably one of the simplest types of hands to make and yet, they can often equate to the difference between a winning or a losing position. Set mining in poker occurs when a player will call a raised pre-flop in the event that he or she already possess a pair. The main intention is to obtain the third value during the flop and walk away with substantial winnings. Having said this, there is much more involved than the basic concept alone. If you play poker online, it is important to take the odds into account in order to maximise your position.
Understanding the Odds to Hit Set Poker
Poker is a game primarily defined by odds and set mining in no different. In this case, we are referring to the odds associated with obtaining a set (a three of a kind) during any given hand. There are two types of odds associated with set mining:
- Direct odds
- Implied odds
Direct odds are more scientific in nature. The chances that you will flop any set are 1 in 7.5 To put this another way, you will (roughly) hit the flop every 7.5 times. Keep in mind that making a set does not necessarily signify that you will walk away with the pot. This is when the power of implied odds comes into play.
Implied odds can be thought of employing a bit of intuition alongside direct odds. They are heavily reliant upon the strength of your opponent’s hand. This is why it is important to appreciate the actions that he or she might take in the event that you call a raised pre-flop.
Let’s imagine for a moment that your opponent possess only weak to marginal hands. In the majority of cases, he or she will tend to fold or raise as opposed to call. In this instance, it is obviously impossible to obtain a set. On the other hand, those who have strong cards are more likely to call; increasing the possibility that you will be able to complete your set.
The final variable to remember when set mining in poker involves the amount of money remaining in the post-flop. Larger amounts generally signal that you will not be forced to keep “stacking” the other player. Another way to look at this scenario centres around profitability. More funds in the post-flop are directly associated with better set mining results. This principle is just the same for those who play poker online as it is in regards to competitors who enter a physical casino.
A Bit of Statistical Prudence
It is worth pointing out here that obtaining a pocket pair is a relatively infrequent event. Statistics show that this scenario will occur one time out of every 17 hands. This more or less equates to one occurrence during every two orbits around the table. We then need to take into account the probability that an opponent will flop or raise as opposed to call. When these two variables are considered, it becomes clear to appreciate that the odds to hit set poker represent a bit more than may initially meet the eye.
The Psychology of the Opponent
We must lastly consider the psychology and mindset of your opponent. If he or she continuously plays conservatively, the chances that they will follow your raises are low. This might occur because they possess a weak hand or simply due to the fact that they are aware that you have adopted the poker set mining strategy.
Poker set mining is generally best employed by those with a moderate level of experience, as being aware of the tells of an opponent is just as important as appreciating the odds themselves. If employed in the correct manner, this approach can represent a powerful tool within your arsenal.