One of The Most Essential Moves in Poker – Set Mining

How can you max out on your poker game? When playing Texas Hold’em, your best approach is to focus on set mining. It’ll guarantee a risk-free win in record time. We’ll cover the fundamentals of the strategy, show you how to extract high value out of your hands and win the pot.

What is Set-Mining in Poker?

Set-Mining in poker is a strategy used in Texas Hold’em based on playing non-premium pairs passively in the preflop and expecting to land a set (three of a kind) in the flop stage.

Players use the strategy with small value pairs such as a pair of 2s or 4s or medium value pairs such as double 8s or double Jacks. Aces, Kings, and Queens are high-value cards and shouldn’t be used.

Based on your pocket pair you’ll call the other hands and aim to see the flop without risking. Because your pair is hidden, and your opponents don’t expect that you have a strong hand, landing a set in the flop with your pocket pair can be extremely efficient.

A small pair strategy in poker can be put into practice relatively easy. If you have a pair of 2s and one of your opponents raises, you then call, and the flop comes in with 2, K, Q, you’re in the best position. At least one of your opponents now has a set of Queens or Kings but it’s unlikely that they can beat the set of 2s which you have.

However, before you start set-mining, you should consider the odds of getting pairs and achieving sets in the flop. This way you’ll know if the strategy is worth applying during your game.

What Are the Odds to Hit Set Poker?

The odds are that you’ll get a pair every 17 hands because Texas Hold’em allows for approx. 78 combinations of pairs and 1,326 total combinations of two identical cards.

We’ll take the above example. You have a pair of 2s, the action begins around the table and the button raises and you call. The flop shows 2, K, Q and now you’ve reached three 2s, meaning that you’ve landed a set. However, consider that when you have a pocket pair, the odds that you’ll flop a poker set are about 12% or 7.5 to 1. Knowing these odds is crucial because many players will try to flop a set in Hold’em. Not accounting for the odds won’t allow you to decide if the strategy is worthwhile or not.

For example, if you’re playing online and your opponent has about £50 available, while you have £500. He puts in a raise for £20 in the pre-flop, and the blinds are £0.5/£1. You’re holding a pair of 3s while all the other players have folded. In this situation, you shouldn’t set mine because the odds are against you.

The Post-Flop Strategy in Set-Mining

If you land a set during the flop, you can use your hand during the next streets to increase the pot’s value with your opponents’ help.

Turning a set is rare and you have just about 4% chances of doing it. So, when you’re set-mining, you should focus on flopping a set, unless you think that your opponents have poor quality hands.

Let’s say you have a pair of 10s on a flop showing 8, 3, 2 but if you’re going with a small pair strategy in poker such as using a pair of 4s, it won’t help you very much when the cards on the table read K, Q, J. Your best strategy now is to fold.

Benefits of Poker Set-Mining

When done right, poker set-mining can be extremely rewarding. However, you should always play with three rules in mind.

Considering that you’ll only achieve a set once every 7.5 times, you should make sure that the pot is worth it.

Poker set-mining is best used against aggressive and loose players because they’ll most likely increase the pot’s value. You’ll get better odds and improve your chances of flopping a set.

Also, set-mining is more powerful when you’re in a position to see what your opponents are doing before you.


Set-mining comes down to considering the odds in a specific situation and turning the probabilities to your advantage.

Considering factors such as the ratio between the pot value and what money you bet (above 1/20), the opponents’ styles and the 1/7.5 chances of you hitting a set during the flop, you can determine if you should set mine or fold.

Set-mining can be a very strategy during the pre-flop if the odds are in your favour.