Set/Trips

Now we really get into the types of hands that are of huge importance at the micros and in full ring no limit hold’em in general. It can often seem like full ring is just a waiting game much of the time. Pull the handle on the slot machine, flop something huge and win a massive pot. That isn’t an entirely true depiction of full ring poker but it isn’t an entirely false one either.

It is important to make a clear distinction between these hands and everything listed before. Two pair is a bit of a gray area but 3 of a kind or better is where the big money is made in this game.

What is a Set?

Now before I talk about how to play these kinds of hands I need to talk about what they are first. I know this might seem silly to some but I have seen a lot of newer players who get confused about the difference between a set and trips. They are not the same. Not at all.

Example:

on,

is a set.

Example:

on,

is trips.

There is a big difference between these two hands. A set is a much stronger hand for a couple reasons.

Firstly, a set is a lot better hidden than trips. On the 993 board, if you start raising and going nuts, it is pretty obvious to your opponent what you are trying to represent, the 9. On the 952 board however it will be much harder for him to see exactly what you are claiming to have. He will be much more likely to assume that you are just overplaying some 9x type hand.

Secondly, a set can’t be outkicked. In the first example above there is only one hand that can currently beat us on that board, 99. Whereas on the second board there are actually six hands that can currently beat us, 33, A9, K9, Q9, J9 and T9.

Trips is a powerful hand and should be played aggressively most of the time, but strictly speaking when I talk about set mining in the next section, I am talking about a pocket pair making a set.

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