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Starting Hands Revealed
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This is one of the keys to becoming a winning player and it will sometimes mean you need to make some tough folds.
Folding is not playing weak or anything of that nature. If you feel that you are beat then you should not get attached to your hand.
Sometimes you will have a hand as strong as a set, and find yourself in a tough spot when facing resistance from another player. But should you consider ?
It really depends. For the most part, no you shouldn’t be, because sets are a very strong hand and a lot of the time you will still have the best hand, but there are numerous factors you need to consider, including the board texture, your table image, and your opponents.
When to fold sets
Firstly, it's crucial that you consider the playing style of your opponent.
Is he a tight/passive player or a loose aggressive maniac? This is a huge factor in your decision making. Loose and aggressive players are always looking to put pressure on their opponents when they sense weakness and will try and represent big hands to win a lot of pots.
That’s how they play. If the flush card gets there on the river, you can be sure they will try and represent it with a big bet or raise on the river, especially if you have taken a passive line in the hand.
A show of strength from a LAG player doesn’t necessarily mean you are beat when you have a set on a scary board. Aggressive players know , so they are looking to win all the pots everyone else doesn't want.
On the other hand, if a tight and passive player raises on the river when a scare card like a flush card or 4 to a straight hits, then your set isn’t looking so good and there is a very good chance you no longer have the best hand.
This scenario is not going to happen often though, because in order for the action to get to the river, it means you were giving your opponents proper odds to call on earlier streets. If you flopped a set, you should have been betting or raising aggressively to prevent giving them good odds to call.
While there may be times where folding sets in poker should be a consideration, generally speaking you want to be playing sets like you have the nuts to extract max value. Sets are hard to come by and if you are not extracting a lot of money when you hit them, you are losing a ton of value.
Folding sets is usually not a consideration unless the board is really scary, and even then you should consider the player’s tendencies.
Next, you should consider your hand strength in comparison to your opponent’s range of hands in relation to the board texture. Some players will value bet a wider range of hands while other players will bet strongly will only the nuts or close to it.
Again this comes back to player tendencies. If you know a player will bet the river when a flush card got there with top pair and a decent kicker, this is known as a betting thin value, so you should be calling down with a wider range of hands, which obviously will include sets.
When should you be folding sets with no flush or straight possible?
You should not be concerned about losing set over set. If you are you will be missing out on a ton of value since it happens so infrequently.
Not only does it happen rarely, but since flopped sets are well disguised, your opponents will also be stacking off with bottom set against better sets, so they will be making the same mistakes, and hence it won’t be a leak in your game. When you begin to have leaks in your game is when you are making mistakes which your opponents aren’t necessarily making.
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