Set Mining in Texas Hold’em
You may have heard the term set mining thrown around in Texas Hold’em games. When a player set mines, they are trying to hit a set with a small or medium pocket pair.
Unfortunately, many new and inexperienced players don’t know the best situations to try and set mine in. Today, this article will give you some insight into the best opportunities to set mine.
Multi-way pots provide players the best chance to win a big pot if they are able to hit a huge hand, such as a set. When considering multi-way pots, we are referring to pots where multiple players either limp in, or there is a small raise called by more than one player.
You want to stay away from set mining in pots where there is a huge raise or multiple raises. In these spots, you’re looking to gamble rather than make a calculated play.
If you are in a heads-up game or heads-up in a tournament, set mining is a bit different. Since any pocket pair can be powerful, you will want to want to play medium and small pairs a bit faster. The 10 percent rule can be bent in this case since many times the small pair may be in the lead to start with.
If you hit your set, you will be in a spot to win a huge pot. Unless you have reason to put your opponent on a draw of some type, you will want to slow play your set.
Ten Percent Rule
We just mentioned the “Ten Percent Rule,” and while it is not an official Hold’em strategy, it is something you should still consider. Former WSOP-E Champion Annette Obrestad once shared a strategy that she regularly uses to set mine and should be one you should consider.
She stated that she will use no more than 10% of her stack in order to set mine. For example, if you have a stack of 14,000, you would want to use no more than 1,400 to try and hit your set. This applies to both multi-way pots and pots where you are heads-up against just a single opponent.
Why 10%? Let’s look at the odds. Generally, you are about 12% to flop a set with any pocket pair. When you only commit 10% of your stack to set mining, you are still playing in the odds.
Naturally, there are times where the situation may dictate that you vary from this strategy. For example, if the stacks are very deep, you may have to risk a little more to make this play. Granted, you are more gambling in this spot.
Also, you may risk a little more to try and knock out a player. For example, in a poker tournament, if you have a player whose entire stack is 20% of your stack, you can assume that all of their stack is going in at some point. You will have to resign yourself to committing 20% of your stack to set mine. However, you may give yourself a chance to knock the player out.
Set Mine Sparingly
Set mining, when successful, can produce huge pots and allow you to stack opponents. Remember that regardless of your situation, you will only be 12% to hit your set on the flop. As such, don’t go crazy set mining too often.
There are some players that will set mine every time they hit a pocket pair. If you have a deep stack or are chip leader, you can afford to do this. Otherwise, you will probably look to set mine about 1 in 5 times you get a small to medium pocket pair.
Set mine sparingly and you should be in good shape to pick up some nice pots.