Playing small pocket pairs like the poker pros – Set Mining

By / In Poker / 0 Comments

Let us introduce you to the concept of Set Mining: a great way to up your online poker performance. Once you have mastered this form of small pair strategy in poker, you will have yet one more tool to wield against your opponent.

What is set mining in poker? A quick definition

Set mining, in essence, means banking on getting the poker hand known as a ‘set’. In poker, a set means any cards that can be described as three of a kind. That might mean three eights, three hearts, or three Jacks. Sets are among the easiest hands to obtain in poker, as (unlike a rarer, harder hand like a royal flush) there are so many ways to make a set. If you’re interested in the statistical probabilities of gaining a particular hand in poker, by the way, we have written a few articles on that topic, too. In order to start the process of set mining, you will need two conditions to be in place:

  • 1. You are in the pre-flop stage of the game.
  • 2. You are in possession of a pocket pair.

If these two criteria are met, then you need to act fast. Banking on your pocket pair, raise in the pre-flop stage. Then, in the flop stage, do your darndest to acquire a set so that you can end the game there and then, forcing the other players to fold and scooping up all of the money in the jackpot for yourself.

Two quick definitions for those new to poker

Perhaps when you read the terms ‘set’ and ‘pocket pair’ you were none the wiser? Never fear. To ensure that everybody is on board with the discussion before we move on, here are the definitions of those terms.

The pre-flop stage

In poker, the ‘pre-flop’ stage is the stage when everyone has been dealt their cards and any community cards have been dealt out. The pre-flop is a betting round when players have the opportunity to place a bet, to hold, to fold, or to raise the stakes. The betting round after this is called (you guessed it) the ‘flop’. When set mining, players ought to use the pre-flop stage to ascertain which three of a kind set they are going for and to raise the stakes. Raising the stakes ensures that if you do pull this trick off, you will have a nice big jackpot to pocket in the flop.

The pocket pair

A pocket pair is quite simply a pair of cards that you are planning on turning into a set.

Ways to make set mining a success

In order to make set mining a success, it is advantageous if the following three criteria are met:

  • The other players are not set mining: you need an outright win!
  • The other players do not have more impressive hands, such as a Royal Flush.
  • You’re able to influence other players as you raise the stakes to bet a lot of money in the pre-flop stage rather than just folding or playing a tight game.

Whether or not all of these criteria will be met when you decide to engage in a little set mining is something of a matter of chance. But, that’s where much of the thrill of set mining lies. Every poker strategy comes with an element of risk, which players need to be prepared for by never wagering money that they cannot afford to lose in its entirety.

The beauty of acting fast

As you may already have guessed, a successful set mining exercise is all about harnessing the power of swift action. Many online poker players like to take a few rounds to build the perfect hand, and when it comes to the flop they are often not prepared for one of their fellow players to demand that they show their hand. Set miners deploy the element of surprise.

Try set mining today!

As you can see, the principle behind set mining is not difficult to grasp. Now that you know how to do it, you are ready to try out this small and medium pair strategy in poker games in your favourite online casinos soon!