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.

Conclusion

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.

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