Blog, Poker

Set Over “Set”

A recent tournament found me on the short end of an all-in hand.  Someone said, “Tough to lose set over set.”  To be precise, it was set over trips.  There is a big difference, but over the years the terms set and trips have become interchangeable (incorrectly).   A set is when a pair in the hole matches a card on the board.  Trips are when a card in the hole matches two on the board. 

Sets win money and trips usually not as much. Think about it; sets are hidden and have huge implied odds. When the board flops a pair, every player’s radar starts flashing “trips, trips…trips!”   Not being stealth-like, usually makes trips less profitable than sets.  Let’s take a look at the numbers for sets and trips on the flop.  First, the odds of having any pocket pair is about 6%.  That puts the odds of flopping a set at approximately 10%.  The probability of the board showing a pair on the flop is about 15%. That means the odds of flopping trips are less than 5%. 

That doesn’t mean flopping trips isn’t a good thing.  Just be careful, a set might be lurking in the high weeds.  Note: there is less than a 1% chance of loosing set over set.  


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