Yes, there are situations when you want your opponent to have AA. This is one of those situations.

Set Mining

I will only play 44 or lower if in late position and there hasn’t been a raise to me. Otherwise, those are –EV hands and should be folded. If you spot someone playing pocket fours or lower in any other situation, then you can make a mental note that they’re likely a weak player.

If I’m holding 55 or higher and I know my opponent is holding AA, then I’m smooth-calling. Obviously, I’m way behind at 20%, but if I hit my set, I’m getting all of my opponent’s chips. If I have fewer chips than my opponent, then I’m doubling-up. If I miss the set on the flop, I’m folding. It’s that simple. This keeps my risk low and my winning potential high, which is a great business proposition.

As a side note, if someone raises you pre-flop and you’re holding a low- to mid-pocket pair, I would not recommend re-raising. This can lead to a shove by your opponent, which can then lead to you folding or being pot-committed. If you fold, then you wasted chips (bad poker). If you’re pot-committed, then you’re not folding on the flop, but you’re likely way behind. That’s also bad poker.

You would prefer your opponent to have an over-pair vs. a drawing when set mining. If they have an over-pair, they will have a very tough time letting it go. If they’re holding a drawing hand, then you could have to fade draws. If your opponent hits that draw, you can be beat, but I’m still never going anywhere when flopping a set.


Set mining can be very profitable. You will usually miss and fold on the flop, but that’s why it’s called mining. When you strike gold, as in flopping a set on the flop, you’re going to double-up or take all of your opponent’s chips when they’re holding an over-pair.

Tyler Nals

If you love poker, then you're in the right place. My poker strategy books are written for the beginner-intermediate player, and many readers have told me that these strategies have helped them turn a profit. My books are easy to understand and written from a macro perspective on how to win as a poker player. You will also find an entertainment angle. Regardless of what level poker player you are, you might enjoy A Fishy Poker Tournament, The Dark Side of the Felt, and The Poker Office. These are poker adventure books, not poker strategy books.

Related Posts


Do You Really Want the Chip Leader to Your Left?

I know what you’re thinking: Who would ask such a crazy question? Allow me to explain. Of course, most people want the big stacks to their right. This way they can see the raises coming and Read more…


A Great Bluff

I wasn’t involved in the hand I’m about to write about, but it stuck out in my mind. Let’s see if you can pick up on why this bluff was made. It took place during Read more…


A Good Hotel for WSOP Circuit Cherokee

The Comfort Inn in Sylva is a good option if you’re playing in any of the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee events. The bad news is that you will be 15 minutes from Harrah’s Cherokee, but Read more…