From this point on, our focus will be on how to play each hand and what you need to keep in mind ad you play.  I will always emphasize”tight-aggressive” play.  While my strategyies can apply to any low-limit game, the examples I’ll give are from a game that has a $2/4 betting structure.


Every once in a great while the poker gods will bless you with three-of-a-kind on your first three cards.  Don’t plan on seeing this very often- it’s happened to me only a few times, and I’ve played a lot of hands.  When it does happen to you, though, know how to play the hand properly.

Many players think that this hand is a good one to play slowly.  They believe there’s no possible way they can lose with it, and that they will inevitably improve later.  They just play slowly to deceive other players and give themselves time to visualize how big the pot that they’re going to win will become.

Playing this hand slowly isn’t always the best course of action.  If you have three jacks or better, it’s or better, it’s fine just to call before you pick up the action and bet more strongly later on.  If you have smaller sets of trips, though, you want to raise as much possible right away.  Why?  Because you become very vulnerable to being outdrawn.

Suppose you have three 4s.  An oppoent with a pair of 5s limps in for a buck, and on fourth poker street he catches a third 5.  Now, suddenly what started out looking wonderful is terrible.  Instead of being the favorite, you are an underdog.

When you start out with a smaller set of trips, always raise it’s better to win a small pot than to lose a lot of money trying to win a large one.  Smaller sets of trips are more trying to win a large one.  Smaller sets of trips are more vulnerable when you’re holding them, one of your opponents is all too likely to complete a larger Three of a Kind in the course of play.  Try to force your opponents out before that happens.

Quick Guide….
…. to Trips on Third Street:

  • RISE if you think a lot of people will stay in, or if your trips are smaller (such as trip deuces).  Always re-raise if someone has already risen the betting.  Bring it in for the full amount if you are first to act.
  • CALL if you have a big set of trips (10s or better).  Don’t bang away until the later rounds.