I've been playing 5c/10c at the moment having moved up a few weeks ago and I keep losing to straights when I have a set.

Example 1: HJ raises I call BB,

Flop comes Qd,8c,3c,

I lead out 2/3 pot, HJ calls

Turn: Turn brings a brick, I overbet pot 1.5x, Hj jams all in over my raise and I lose to set of Queens.

Ex 2:

Hero: KK Villain: 9T

Flop: K8A

Hero bets 2/3 pot, villain calls,

Turn: J (K8A-J)

Hero 85% pot bet, Villain calls,

River: 7 (K8A-J-7)

Hero shoves, villan calls stacking backdoor straight

Ex 3:

Hero: TT (BB) Villain: QQ (UTG)

Preflop: Villian UTG raises 3 x, BU calls and hero calls on BB

Flop: TJ6

Hero leads out 3/4 pot, villain reraises, BU folds, and hero jams all in

Turn bring 9

River brings 8

Hero loses to backdoor straight

This and numerous times over the past week. So just to give you perspective I'm not overvaluing sets or trying to play sexy slow play poker. I was winning 12.5/100 BB after working from 20 dollars to over 700 dollars. I took up poker school and applied the concepts and principles to my game so I'm not trying anything absurd or throwing it away with marginal hands or top pairs. But these sets and others have been roasted primarily from straights but also over sets, river flushes and getting sucked out on in general. I'm just saying is it time to play cautiously as possible given the level of poker has become so more advanced to the point that sets are just marginal and folded at any hint of over aggression. This has been non stop and still ongoing for over 2 weeks.

I lost a whopping 14 buy-ins with 36% of those being sets losing to straights?

Is it time to just check fold sets since poker online has got so unbelievably good that now sets are only a marginal hand like the way 2 pair is a hyper marginal hand with poker nowadays, is this the case now for sets?

  • Hi Conner this question as David suggests is way to general and does not include enough details. Narrow it down to one hand and give us lots of details about position, other players etc.
    – Jon
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


Context is king in poker. Things like the number of players, position, the previous action in the hand, bet sizes, flop texture and so on are necessary to take a decision. Asking "should I check-fold sets?" is like asking "should I use an umbrella?". It has no general answer that applies to all cases.

  • You should use an umbrella when it is sunny or raining, if there is a lot of wind you should consider folding the umbrella.
    – Jon
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 3:27
  • Ok well Jon, without being so pretentious and passive aggressive in your answer I shot the question and it's my first question so no need to be so snipey with that crossed attitude to be passive aggressive. You could just say could you tell me about the hand or hands and I'll give you some advice without being such a a snark like voting to remove the question ;). Oh and I know the difference between a set and trips so no need to waist your time mentioning it. Please dont comment anymore I dont need your experience if your going to be such a snipe shot. Cheers mate. Commented May 28, 2021 at 16:56
  • Oh and my names Connor not Conner. I'm not American. I have to say the poker community is toxic and passive aggressive as it gets. Going through posts and you see passive aggressive answers like this and it's just people who phrased or questioned something wrong. Like those mean girls from school, that's what the poker community looks like since I joined ha. Go away Jon and never comment again in my posts. Thank you. Commented May 28, 2021 at 17:00
  • @ConnorDonohoe actually, Jon's advice is pretty sound stuff and not passive-aggressive at all. Including the difference between a set and trips is useful even if you do know it because this question is not here just for yourself, but for anyone who may want to read it.
    – David
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:04
  • @ConnorDonohoe Sorry I offended you Connar.
    – Jon
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 3:43

Even though I voted to close this question, and agree fully with David, I am going to shoot you a general answer, based just on my experience.

The limit you are playing at, Five and Dime, is full of very loose players that are going to take draws, any draw, gut shot draws, back door draws and even single card draws. It is almost like playing Omaha, if the board is wet for a hand, it will almost certainly be there.

(Definition just to be clear, a set is made with a pair in the hole connected with a card on board, three of a kind is a pair on board that connects to one of your hole cards)

Flopping a set is a wonderful thing. However, many players, especially newer players, tend to get a little to tricky with sets and shoot themselves in the foot often. The biggest mistake they make is slow playing them. The second biggest mistake they make is an inability to lay them down.

You should never slow play sets. The only reason you should ever check a set is because you are almost certain you are going to get a check raise, or the action came down in such a way that you think your set may not be the best set. The looser your opponents are, the more likely you should be to bet your set, and tend to bet your set bigger. This is also true for larger fields in a pot. You really want to bet to thin out the field. The more players you leave by not betting enough, the more complicated the river is going to become. The more your bet the more your opponents bad decisions are going to cost them. Under betting is a major mistake, over betting is a minor mistake. If your not sure, over bet a bit. You will get more accurate with experience.

In low limit games online, sets and three of a kind play virtually the same. B&M and higher limits online players generally become more wary when there is a pair on board. The perfect bet for 3x is a little lower then the perfect bet for a set.

Conner, I suspect, that you are playing sets to slow, and may have "Fancy Play Syndrome" I am not sure how you play pocket pairs pre-flop, however, the less you tend to raise pre-flop, the more often you are going to be loosing with your sets.

So Conner I would love it if you rewrote your question, to include a few hands where you lost with a set, with all the details you can remember. Because I really do not like suggesting you might be a weak tight player without knowing all the details. And there might be something in there that is not so obvious, someone here might be able to help you with, and it helps others to learn when a question is posted with good context.


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