How not to play a set



I just thought i'd throw this out there:

$1/$2 NLHE 10-handed ring game, and i'm playing very tight aggressive.
The table is generally limps all around, and not too many PF raises.
I get this hand, and hit my set! Lovely...

I almost never play my monster hands like i did this one...
I guess i thought i could trap one of the many top-pair-overvaluing donkeys at the table who possibly hit the ace.

But this is what i mean when i say this is the wrong way to play a set (or any monster hand for that matter):

Situation one: My opponents have nothing or are drawing. If I bet, they either fold, or call in hopes of hitting their straight or flush. This is good because i'm getting as much money off them as possible. I'm making them pay to draw. If i were to check to the river (like i did DOH), they haven't put a penny in and they get to see 2 free cards.

Situation two: They have hit their piece of the flop, say the ace. A check raise isn't a terrible play (which is what i was trying to do) but leading is much better.
Say you check, he bets $18 into the $27 pot. You raise 2 or 3 times that, so $36 or $54. This is only a $27 pot, so there is a good chance you've just shut him out as he can't call with a weak ace for that price. (I'm assuming it is a weak ace because there was no PF raise. Even a strong ace would think twice before calling here.)
So for a very strong hand, a set you've only made $45 not including your raise.
Now say you lead out. You bet $18 into the $27 pot, and he, with his ace paired, raises 2 or 3 times that. So again, $36 or $54. Now you reraise him right there for everything he's got left. He now has a decision to make. Poker is all about making your opponents make tough decisions. Anyways, he now has put a total of $9 PF plus up to $54 on the flop. He's pretty pot-committed now and at these limits, would probably push. He also isn't putting you on a set since you lead out and usually players he's seen don't do that.
So basically my point is that you don't want to check-raise with monsters because all you'll be doing is shutting them out. Leading out is the best option because you make the most out of it.
Another thing worth mentioning here is leading into the raiser.
If you are the caller instead of the aggressor (the raiser) preflop, then it is usually if not always a better idea to lead into the raiser when you hit a monster hand. Just as with the previous example, you'd be shutting him out if you check-raised.
Say you have 77 and you put your opponent on a big ace. An ace flops, but so does a 7. If you bet, he's got to raise you because he's got top pair with a big kicker - if not for value, he's got to do it for information. Anyways it's the same deal; if you check-raise, he immediately puts you on at least 2 pair or set and will probably fold. Conversely if you lead out then push his reraise, he's pot-committed and will probably stack off with you.

Just thought i'd share my opinion/strategy on that :)...holy crap that was longer than i thought :/


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Rock Star
I think it's usually good to throw out a bet on the flop (especially with over cards on the board). Other than that... your bet on the river was a bit big IMO. It indicates either a slow-play or you've just drawn to a straight.

On the other hand, your opponents may have been on like KQ/QT type of hands, and missed completely. Nothing you can do about that (except maybe get a bet from them on the flop).


again i have no idea what i was trying to accomplish in this one...
i overbet the river on purpose to maybe make it look like a steal but either way i botched the whole thing up.


I would have to say that would have made a little bigger bet on the flop just because of the two hearts. Some people like to milk there trips for all there worth but I would prefer 1 caller with a flush draw in my face. But im more of a safe is better then the risk kind of player.
Nice hand though


aside from hitting bottom trips against AK on an XKA flop, my favorite thing with trips is unprofitable flush calling by opponents and the board pairing. What makes it even better is if their flush card fills you up. Perfect. You're almost 100% going to take their stack.

As far as playing trips goes.... Trips is a pretty straight forward hand. And you're going to get yourself into ALOT of trouble slow playing them for whatever reason - you should bet right out nearly every time. The best part about betting out is that you're going to bet out with TPTK, 2 pair, trips, a straight etc etc. The only time you want to check the flop is when you flop SO BIG that you have to wait for someone to catch up - and the FEW times you are disguising your play (say only if you hit trip 3-7 you slow play). This is because you don't WANT someone to catch up, because if they catch up, they pass you. Simply put, you want someone to make a straight or a flush only if you can beat it... Nothing good can come of slow playing your trips.