The best poker players are aggressive because aggression can lead to large pots. To be a great poker player, you must be willing to make large pots by 3-betting. Chances are you don’t 3 bet enough.
What is a 3 bet?
The term 3 bet often refers to the first raise before the flop. However, it can also refer to the first raise after the flop. Subsequent raises can be referred to as a 4-bet or 5-bet, respectively.
Let’s say that another player raises preflop. You have the choice to call, fold or re-raise. If you decide to re-raise, this action is called a 3-bet and you will be the 3-bettor in that hand.
A well-thought-out, aggressive preflop 3-betting strategy can help you win crucial 3-bet pots.
In this article, you will learn how to create an effective 3-bet range.
Why should you 3 bet more often in poker games?
1. It makes it more difficult for your opponent to make decisions
Many players begin 3-betting with only the best hands. These are QQ+ or AK or JJ. This strategy is too conservative.
If you only 3-bet on JJ, you become an easy opponent. Other players will confidently fold any of your 3-bets against you, which can prevent you from extracting value from your monster hand.
Including non-premium hands in your 3-betting range makes you unpredictable.
2. You could isolate weak players through 3-betting
If a weak player raises, you can force the players behind to fold. It forces the weak player, who may not have had much experience, to make a decision that they are unlikely to be prepared for.
If the opener doesn’t have a premium hand, they will be going up a creek with no paddle.
3. It lowers the average number of players in the pot
Your equity decreases as more players join the pot. A 3-bet can usually force players to leave before the flop, increasing the chances that you will win.
4. It gives you a chance to grab the pot preflop
You don’t have a chance of winning the pot if you call an open raise. 3-betting works.
Your 3-betting strategy will be useless if you don’t know what to do after your 3-bet is called.
Types of 3 bet ranges
There are two ways to build a 3-betting range:
hands, strong hands, and hands with great playability aretypically found in merged ranges.
- Polarized ranges are usually made up of premium hands and bluffs
When is it appropriate to merge your 3-bet ranges?
These are some situations that warrant a merged 3-bet range:
- The open raiser is going to give you trouble once you reach post-flop.
- You are not in a favorable position for calling ranges, such as the small blind.
- The open raiser is a calling station.
Let’s suppose Doug, a strong player, opens to 2.5BB from the middle position, and you are in the cutoff. To avoid problematic post-flop situations with weak hands against him, you decide to use a merged 3 betting strategy.
If you are using a merged 3-betting strategy in position, raising to about 3 times the open-raise can be a good idea. If you are out of position, raise to a size around 3-4 times the open-raise.
When is it appropriate to polarize your 3-bet betting range?
A polarized 3-betting range includes the hands at the top or bottom of our continuing range. Here are common situations that warrant a polarized 3-betting range:
- The open raiser
folds more than halfof the time.
- There are a lot of hands that work better as calls than 3-bets.
Imagine you are in a big blind position, facing a button open raise with 3BB. With your pot odds of winning 4.5BB, you can profitably call with a wide range of middling hands.
By 3-bet bluffing, we attack the dead money in a pot with hands that are just outside the calling range. These hands also help to balance our value 3-bets.
Your range will become more polarized, so it is logical to increase your size. In practice, a polarized 3-betting strategy should be used with a slightly larger size than the one you would use when merged.
When to call for adjustments
Be open to changing your 3-betting strategy depending on the tendencies of your opponents. These are the situations that call for adjustments:
1. Your opponent folds often
Mix in more 3-bet-bluffs with weaker hands to beat a player who folds to 3-bets often. A player who folds less often to 3-bets should be able to add value hands and cut some bluffs.
2. Your opponent has strong post-flop skills
You can exploit weak openings by 3-betting bluffing and/or c-betting the flip at a high frequency. You should also reduce your 3-bet bluffing with players who have strong post-flop skills.
3. You are about to get squeezed
You should narrow your calling range if you are likely to get squeezed.
3-bet vs. a weak regular
- 200NL 6-Max. $200 Effective Stacks.
- The player in the big blind has 6 4.
- Folds to cutoff.
- Cutoff raises to $5.
6 4 fits perfectly into our polarized 3-bet range. Given the possibility that they will fold, you
It doesn’t matter if the cutoff calls. There is still a chance that you will win the pot.
3-bet vs. a loose opener
- 200NL 6-Max. $200 Effective Stacks.
- The hero
is in the cutoffposition with A Q.
- The UTG raises to $6; 2 folds.
Range charts show that you can either 3-bet with A Q or call against a UTG open at 6-max. The clear choice in this instance is to 3-bet value.
Consider the possible outcomes of a 3-bet:
- UTG folds, and you win the $9 pot.
- UTG calls, and you have a position against a weak range.
- You face a 4-bet from UTG and can profitably call.
3-bet vs. an open late position
- 500NL 6-Max. $500 Effective Stacks.
- Hero is on the button with J 8
- Cutoff raises to $12.50
You have a wide range of value here, as positions like AJs, JTs, and TTs are great value 3-bets from loose positions.
To balance this range, you need to 3-bet a lot of bluffs.
A two-gapper suit
You must be willing to create large pots by 3-betting. So, try a 3 bet now and 3 bet more often!