Regardless of whether you just play free online poker or play for the highest bets imaginable, a Set is one of the most illegible hands in Texas Hold’em.
A Set is made up of a pocket pair plus one of the community cards that has the same value as your pocket pair.
For example, if you are 4-4 and the community cards are 5-4-10-J-K, you have a Set of Fours.
Sets are unreadable because most players are used to reading (a) two different straight cards, (b) high cards or overpairs, (c) draws that complete the table, or (d) cards in any way related to the table cards .
Our hand reading habits are often a mix of limiting possible hands to the characteristics of the council / community. How would you put someone in 5-5 or 4-4 when it’s much easier to put him in AK (for top pair, better kicker), AQ (for a straight made) or K-10 or 5-4 (for Two pair) ), or even AA (a tall pair)?
Sometimes, you can even put it on a Five, say QQ Online, 6-5. But on two Fives or two Fours? That’s why Sets are very powerful on Boards that have no Straight or Flush potential.
However, suppose that on a Q-7-2 flop with no straight or flush possibilities, you have 2-2. You check (hoping to catch him), the other player bets. You raise all-in, so he immediately calls and reveals Q-Q. You thought your opponent had A-Q or K-Q. How is this possible? It’s possible. Even here you are more susceptible.
Since there are no Straight or Flush potentials, your opponent will fold cards that do not fit on the board. If you read your hands according to the above criteria, you can place your opponent in A-Q, K-Q or even Q-7 (can you go as far as 7-2?!).
Here, because you were the one who moved all-in, the outcome of the hand is not entirely under your control; it depends on whether your opponent calls or not.
But suppose the situation is reversed. The Q-Q player checks, you bet, so the answer is an all-in raise. How would you act?
When you find yourself in a situation like this (which usually occurs on the Flop) in a cash game, accept it as it is. Pay it. On another occasion you will have Q-Q, some other player will have 2-2 and you will be paid.
But in a tournament, you have a lot of gifts to consider (and you may want to consider them even in a regular cash game). Compare the sizes of your batteries in relation to each other. If the difference is big, expect one of you to put your chips in the middle.
A set can be the best hand you two can fold. If you have the smallest set to be eliminated, attribute it to bad luck. However, assuming you both have stacks above average chips, and you have to choose to cost all or virtually all of your chips. You have 2-2. You are not likely to be blind in some hands.
You may want to reason:
I have a set.
He raised me enough to put me all-in, or almost.
He can do this with Q-7.
And whether your opponent had Q-7 or not will depend on what happened pre-flop.
If no increase has occurred, it can be with Q-7, and you can safely pay.
Whether your opponent was 7-7 or not, can also be subjected to similar scrutiny
Or if there is an increase, it can be with A-Q.
Now, top pair, top kicker is a weak hand to risk an above average stack.
And there is no Straight and Flush coming in, so all-in could only be done with an especially strong hand. It can also be with A-A or K-K (probably it is), but it can also be only with Q-Q.
If I put you in these three hands, there is a 2/3 chance of being right, but a 1/3 chance of being wrong, and when I am wrong, I will be eliminated. So, I will give up.
If you have the middle set (set of sevens), the same analysis can also be applied.
But you will be much safer because there is only one Set to kill you instead of the two possible Sets a while ago. If you own the Queen Set, have fun!
The above analysis is distressing and laborious, especially when it comes to folding one of Hold’Em’s most valuable hands.
Summary of reading sets
It takes some time to learn to read your hands, it is not something the thoughtless “chip launchers” seen at many free poker tables don’t even consider.
It seems that most players cannot or do not want to spend their time, they claim that they play just for fun, which misses the fact that winning a lot of money is much more fun!
I find it crazy that so many people play with so little skill and almost delight in the fact! But this is also very good news for you, one of the few who is learning to play well.