Set mining can be incredibly profitable if done right. One of the biggest misconceptions in poker, particularly online, is that the path to success begins with set mining. This is completely incorrect, however, because set mining can surely be profitable, but it can also be a great way to lose money. Most poker players don’t know how to properly determine when is and isn’t a good time to set mine and as a result they will often find themselves investing way too much money in situations where there expected returns are low. Look at it this way, would you pay $10 to win $100 if your odds were 1:20?
Of course not, you would have to have a payout of over $200 for this to be profitable. Unfortunately what set miners will often do is take these poor odds with the hope of hitting an occasional big payout. Sure there will be times that you get lucky and a poor play will be rewarded, but no winning poker player sits down at a table with this mindset. Proper set mining requires that players be able to properly examine multiple variables in a hand to decide whether or not they want to take part. Flopping a set is a proven way to make a ton of money in poker, but if you only get paid off once in a blue moon it will turn into a proven way to lose money.
Proper Set Mining
Proper set mining is relatively easy to master. If you can take a look around at the table and weigh a handful of factors you will be able to determine whether or not you are in an ideal set mining situation. One important factor when set mining is your opponent’s tendencies. If the player(s) you are considering set mining against are extremely spastic and loose there is a good chance that you will get paid off if you hit. If the player(s) you want to set mine against are very tight, however, you will have an incredibly difficult time getting paid off. Set mining serves no use if there is no potential payoff so you are best off abandoning the play against tight players.
The second variable to consider when set mining is your position. If you will be forced to play the hand out of position you will be at a disadvantage because you will have to try and squeeze the value out of your hand on your own. This means that you will need to decide what your opponent will do before they do it. If you play in position, however, you will be able to see what the other player does and then react more appropriately. It is easier to base your actions off of other’s actions than it is to do something without much clue as to how someone will react.
The third and perhaps most important consideration when set mining are your pot odds. As mentioned in the example above, you will need to be getting the proper odds on order to set mine effectively. If you will hit your set (and get paid off, this part is important) 1:15 times but are given the option of calling for 4/5 of the pot, you will be burning money at a rapid pace.