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Folding a set on the flop?


by joenba1k  |  Published Feb 13, 2013


I recently played in a 1/3 no limit game , under the gun I picked up 88 with about 160 behind me I limped so did 4 other players the flop came 9 8 10 rainbow suits I checked the middle position made it 10 dollars 3 players folded I min raised it to 20 , the player that made it 10 makes it 40 on top his stack is over 400 at this point do I fold my remaining 140 behind me? I know he has a straight , I say thinking for 30 seconds and shove the rest he snap calls with 6 7 and I don't pair up. I'm just wondering if that was a terrible move? Knowing your player has the made straight but trying to pair the board with 2 cards to come? Maybe I'm not good enough to fold a set on the flop?


over 1 year ago

First of all, why are you only deciding b/w shoving and folding?

If you feel you know he has a straight, calling is definitely the best option. If you pair up on the turn, he's still going to put all his money in. If you don't, you can evaluate based on his bet size on the turn. I don't see why folding for an extra $20 with a set would even enter your mind.

But, if you really want to know if your shove was right or not, you can do some pretty easy math to figure that out.

This is all considering he's already shown you a straight, meaning every single time you shove he calls w/ a straight...

There was roughly $74 in the pot ($22 from you, $42 from him, $10 from blinds and limps)

You have $138 behind, that's your potential risk. You can win $118 more from him, b/c he's already put in the extra 20.

74+118=$192, that's what you can win.

That's $138 to win $192. A 1-1.39 ratio. Meaning you need 42% equity to break even. (1 out of 2.39=41.8%)

Using an equity calculator, you would find you had about 36% equity. Out of the final pot of $330, you'd take home about $119. So you put in that last $138 to take an average of $119 out of the pot.

Honestly, I think the shove is really about break even, because he didn't turn his hand face up.If he didn't have the straight and would fold 1/5x, it'd be a break even play. You lose $19 on average when called and win $74 when he folds. (19x4=76,74x1=74)

But, just because a shove is break even, doesn't mean it's the optimal play. If you put him on a straight, just call there every time.

Also, get the notion of being "good enough" to fold a set on the flop out of your head. It's just about making the right play, and usually, folding a set on the flop is the wrong play.


over 1 year ago

Thanks for the advice wps


over 1 year ago

Very nice post. While I was reading your post I was thinking that there wasn't enough money in the pot to shove here .. which the math shows. Did he raise $40 'on top' of your $20 or raise to $40? That will change the math big time in this scenario.

Certainly there is enough money (and good math) 'available' via implied odds to put in another $20 (3.5-1) and quite possibly another $40 before you have to decide to shove or not on the Turn.

You say you 'know' he has a straight, but which one? In this case here all you needed was a J (or maybe a 7) to Turn and he will check behind for you to see a free River to catch up!! If you know he can fold a hand, then you now have bluffing opportunities on the River.

He also could have been a LAG and on an open-ender ... in which case you are ahead in the hand. You should NEVER fold for $20 and probably not fold for $40, but you are right on the edge with your stack size to shove here. Call this time and evaluate the Turn.