word type: noun
- Poker slang for three of a kind
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While a set and trips are both ways to refer to a three of a kind, most poker players do not consider them exactly the same. A set commonly refers to a three of a kind that is made when a player's pocket pair matches one card on the board. Even though it is still three of a kind, it is considering stronger than trips, which is a three of a kind made by matching one hole card with a pair on the board.
There are two main reasons. First, a set is more deceptive than trips. After all, with trips, your opponents can see two of your cards (the pair on the board) and could very well deduce what you have, depending on how you bet. With a set, it is much harder for someone to determine that you have three of a kind. Second, it is easy to run into kicker problems with trips. If you have Q-J and flop two Queens, someone with A-Q, and thus also has trips, will have you crushed.
The probability of flopping exactly a set is 10.8%, or 8.3-to-1. The probability of flopping at least a set is 11.8% or 7.5-to-1.