What Is The 3 Bet Strategy In Poker?

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With great risks comes great money, be it in the stock market or a game of poker. What distinguishes a good poker player from a great poker player is absence of fear in the latter towards big pots. Setting themselves up for such a sizable pot involves employing numerous strategies, one of which is the 3 bet strategy.

What is 3 bet poker?

The third bet in a given sequence of bets is deemed as a 3 bet. The open raise is actually called a 2 bet and a re-raise is known as a 3 bet in poker. Incorporating the 3 bet strategy is crucial to boosting the win rate of the player; it pays more than just cold calling.

A 3 bet range depends on the size of the open bet. To explain, let us assume that we have an opponent that usually folds to 3 bets in poker. Then resort to bluffing more often and slow playing stronger preflop hands as against value betting. On the converse, if you have an opponent that never folds to 3 bets, then cut back on the bluffing and resort to widening value bets.

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What advantages do you get by 3 bet in poker?

It makes the opponent reconsider this hand and delays decision making on his/ her part.

·         Including non-premium hands in your 3 betting range makes you a player to reckon with as you will be less predictable to your opponents.

·         It becomes easier to isolate weak players.

·         It may force the weak players to make premature decisions, giving their hand away.

·         It will force some players out prior to the flop, giving you a better shot at winning the pot.

·         It will offer you a chance to pick up the pot preflop.

Types of 3 bets in poker

·         The Value 3 bet: It is the traditional 3 bet is when the player believes that he/ she has the best hand and hence would like to get more money into the pot in light of this perceived advantage. The key is to find the opponent’s range and bet accordingly. Against a tight aggressive player, the value 3 bet will be tight, whereas, against a loose aggressive player, the player’s range might be wider.

·         The Light 3 bet: It is when the player re-raises a pre flop raiser with a hand that does not necessarily rate as the best hand, but is of some value. Also known as a semi bluff, the goal of the player in such a bet is to win the pot immediately and get the opponents to fold. Employing a light 3 bet in poker will also get the other players to discard an image of a tight player against your name and will also help you play a rounded game. The best hands to three-bet light with are at the very top of your folding range.

Types of betting range

·         Merged ranges:

Consists of premium hands, strong hands, and hands which can be played without bluffing

It is warranted in case –

a. If you are in a position that is unfavourable for calling (for example, small blind)

b. The open raiser is a strong player and might cause trouble post flop;

c. If the open raiser is calling stations;

d. If other players are calling stations.

·         Polarised ranges:

Consists of hands at the top and bottom hands namely, premium hands and bluffs

It is warranted in case –

a.    If the open raiser folds often to 3 bets;

b.    If you hold a large number of hands that play better as calls rather than 3 bets.

c.    However, avoid polarizing when playing against a fish because, in general, they will call a lot more 3-bets, even out of position. It is best to play value bets against them and avoid bluff hands at all costs.

·         When using a polarised 3 bet strategy, one must use a slightly larger size for a polarised range than a merged range.

·         Bet size must not be solely determined based on the strength of the player’s hand. It must be dictated by the position of the player. When you’re in position you can get away with a smaller three-bet size. This is because you will be last to act for the entirety of the hand.

·         Whereas, three times the original raise was fine in position, out of position it is better to make it four times or more. The larger raise works towards negating the player’s positional disadvantage.

Determining bet size

·         Bet size must not be solely determined based on the strength of the player’s hand. It must be dictated by the position of the player. When you’re in position you can get away with a smaller three-bet size. This is because you will be last to act for the entirety of the hand.

·         Whereas, three times the original raise was fine in position, out of position it is better to make it four times or more. The larger raise works towards negating the player’s positional disadvantage.

·         If the player is re-raising a raise and a call, he/ she will have to make the re-raises even larger because the re-raise will have to make it through two players instead of just one.

·         As a general rule, keep your 3 bets sized properly to your position and to the number of players left in the hand and you’ll make it easier on yourself in the long run.

Adjustments in your 3 bet strategy

Any modifications to the 3 bet strategy must be made on the following considerations –

·         Post flop aggression tendency of the open raiser

·         How often your opponent folds

·         Responses and tendencies of other players on the table

·         The effective stack available

·         The pot equity and fold equity

·         Board texture

Conclusion

Three betting is extremely profitable for it balances the range of the player and as there is a lot of dead money to partake in. Using the three bets at the pre flop stage offers an additional advantage as leading the hand has its own perks. Being perceived as strong is only of the many benefits you can enjoy by employing this 3 bet strategy. However, be cautious and use this strategy only when required and never overdo this.

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