Although Superman, with his X Ray vision, might never be faced with this problem, you may find yourself in the position where you question whether your set is any good or not. While sets are very powerful hands in Texas Hold Em, they can be beaten. In most cases it becomes a very expensive proposition to have your set cracked but as you get more experience you may find ways to get away from some of these situations.
First of all, if there is a drawing hand out on the flop you must make a very large bet to discourage other from drawing to it. This will save you from finding yourself in a large percentage of these situations. The temptation to go for maximum value by slow playing your set must be tempered with caution in protecting your hand.
Folding a Set in Limit and No Limit
• In a Limit Texas Hold Em Game – You are a lot less likely to ever need to fold a set in a limit game because against a single opponent you can just back off and call and against multiple opponents you are protected by the capped betting rule. Now if the River puts a flush on the board and you do not have any of that suit in your hand then you can probably save a bet or two by letting go of your hand. Even sometimes in a situation like the previous example the pot odds may still dictate that you call a bet against the hope of a bluff.
• In a No Limit Texas Hold Em Game – You are much more capable of protecting your set in a No Limit game because when you start seeing draws on the board you can make pot sized bets that will discourage most opponents from drawing. By the same token if you are check raised all in on the River you need to give it some serious thought and you might opt for the safer course of folding. Although a set is a powerful hand it is not always the “Nuts” and that means you need to be able to fold your set if it is indicated.
Pot Odds and Implied Pot Odds for Folding a Set
Knowing as much as you can about your opponents is extremely valuable. You can also always fall back on the mathematics of the game of poker when put to a decision. The two decisions that you are going to be put to you with your set are calling a bet or raise and whether or not to bet in last position on the River. Say that you have 9♥, 9♣ and the flop is 6♠, 9♠, and J♠, putting a flush possibility on the board. Say that you make a continuation bet only to be raised. What do you do? Well, let’s look at the math here. If your opponent has the flush you can still beat him if you fill up or make quads. So let’s count your Outs. There are 3 sixes, 3 jacks, and 1 nine that would give you a full house or quads on the Turn. You also have the possibility of a runner runner pair coming on the turn and the River. When you run the numbers all the way through you have about a 1 in 3 chance of filling up or making quads. So if the bet that you need to call is less than a third of the pot then Pot Odds dictate that you should call. The other factor to consider is the Implied Pot odds and to do this you need to look at how many chips your opponent still has that you might win if you make your hand.
There are not any absolute rules and guidelines about how you should handle this or any other situation in poker but why dont you try out your new knowledge at Bet 365 Poker? Using the mathematics and your understanding of your opponent you can make a good decision. You will also find that with experience you will continue to make better and better decisions about when to fold a set that will add to your overall bottom line.
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