It is common ground that you must be aggressive to be a successful poker player. Many players comprehend this concept, yet just a few use it correctly when it comes to 3 betting poker. If you use 3-betting appropriately, it can be a very useful tool in your arsenal.
For a beginner, 3-bet is usually the most perplexing concept. You might have scratched your head, wondering how a re-raise on the pre-flop can be called a 3-bet? Isn’t a re-raise a 2-bet? Well, if you are confused, worry not! We are here to clear your doubt and teach you the best poker approach to using this powerful 3-bet poker move. But before that, first, let’s see what three bets in poker means.
What is 3-betting in poker?
A 3-bet in poker is another term for a re-raise after one of your opponents has already raised. The confusion comes from the fact that when you 3 bet preflop, it appears to be the second bet in the sequence. When one of your opponents open-raises, you decide to re-raise them. The reason why this is known as 3 bet is because the compulsory Small Blind (SB) and Big Blind (BB) are referred to as the first bet in sequence. As a result, the open-raise is a “2-bet'', whereas the re-raise is a “3-bet”. For example, when SB and BB post $1 and $2 blind, let’s assume a player from MP raises to $10. If another player from the LP raises it again to $30, this is known as 3-bet.
Types of 3-bets
When we talk about 3-betting, it is essential to identify which kind we are actually talking about. Basically, there are two types:
1. Value 3-bets
2. Light 3-bets
Which poker technique gives you the best chance of winning any physical or virtual poker game? When you have a strong hand, right? That is when you play your hand aggressively and place value bets. The same method applies to the value 3-bet. When you believe you have the best hand, you use this tactic to increase the pot value so that when you win, you win big. You want to take advantage of the situation of having the best hand as much as possible. And this can be achieved by getting called frequently by your opponents (who don’t have strong hands).
Now, you may wonder on which hands you can value 3-bets? This is determined by various factors like your table image and that of your opponent, your position, opponent’s tendencies, etc. Your objective here should be to get the best hands in comparison to your opponent’s range. If your opponent is playing tight and aggressive, the 3-bet will almost always come out when you have a better hand.
You need to be cautious when playing with a tight range of opponents. This is because they can figure out your playing style as you become too predictable. Thus, they will play more effectively against you and prevent you from winning as much money. On the other hand, if you are playing against a loose player, you can increase the range of your hands for a 3-bet value. For instance, playing with hand ranges like AK to AQ and even AA to 99.
If you have ever played a virtual poker game, you will definitely agree that you don’t get high-value cards very often. So, there are times where you have to consider starting with a weak hand but have a decent chance of improving or becoming the best hand as you get to the post-flop stages at the turn or the river.
The same is the case with light 3-bets - you are holding cards that might end up as something useful in the later streets. So, it is basically a semi-bluff hand. This online poker strategy is likely to work with opponents who are not tight with their initial raises. So, when playing poker on the internet, if you recognize your opponents who raise light initially so that you can then re-raise 3-bet light, you can simply have them fold up and win the pot, even without seeing the flop.
3-Betting poker strategy
Now that you know what 3-bet is in poker positions, it is time to learn how to use them when playing poker online or in a physical casino. Some players use 3-bet too often, hoping to run the table over and induce their way to success. Whereas, some rarely bet because they think it should only be done when they have a monster hand.
Which one is correct? Well, the answer is none. You should never come to a table with a particular 3-betting strategy. This is because you never know what table type you will be sitting at. The level at which you should do 3-betting is determined by how far out-of-line your opponents at your table have been getting.
You may also read: Poker table position strategy
Who should you 3-bet?
Understanding who you should be 3-betting is one of the first steps in adding 3-bets into your entire poker strategy. Of course, your hand’s strength will play a role in this decision, but this is not the only factor to consider. Generally, when you have a bad hand, you should try to 3-bet against players that frequently fold to 3-bets. If you don’t have a heads-up display program to show which of your opponents is folding to 3-bets often, then you will have to consider it in your memory
The kind of players who usually fold to 3-bets are those who do not play many hands at all. Though this may appear unreasonable, as the players who play tight will have a stronger range, they might decide to fold part of their range that beats you. Another advantage of 3-betting the tight players is that they will never opt for 4-bluff you. Thus, you can be certain that they will not take advantage of your light 3-betting tendencies.
Continuing to play the hand even when you don't have a premium hand is the best way to get action once you are dealt with a monster hand. By 3-betting players who fold a lot to 3 bets in poker, give you a chance to stay active unless you dealt the best hand.
When you have a monster hand, and a loose player raises, you will certainly want to 3-bet the raiser. One reason for this is that you have opened the door for them to try to 4-bet for you, resulting in a huge pot. Another motive to raise is to prevent them from seeing a flop for cheap with a wide range of hands.
When should 3-betting poker be avoided?
When you have a monster hand, like poker aces, and one of your opponents has raised. The very first thought that will come to your mind is to re-raise the original raiser so that you make them pay extra if they try to beat you. However, there are some situations where 3-betting the best hand is not a good idea. Imagine a player who likes to C-bet on every flop. In such a situation, you should avoid 3-betting with A-A because you will undoubtedly get more chips than this player, whether he hits or not. By doing this, you will not only get a continuation bet from your opponent, but they may also believe you have a weak hand because you didn’t 3-bet pre-flop, and they may give their entire whole stack.
Another time when you should avoid 3-betting your opponent, you have a hand that cannot stand a re-raise, and your opponent is an aggressive maniac. It is pointless to try to intimidate players who don’t care about losing, so we suggest avoiding trying this.
Where can you practice playing online poker?
In the game of poker, no two situations are the same. Whether you are playing poker in traditional casinos or online tournaments, your 3-bet poker method must depend on the situation. This includes the opponents who raised the pot, your position, your cards, and where you are in the poker tourney. Now that you are familiar with the strategies and pro poker tips of 3-bet, why not apply this knowledge to your actual gameplay. Thinking about where you can play and practice the game for free. Well, worry not! We have got you covered. Hone your skills by playing poker on the Gamentio portal with thousands of players across the country anytime, anywhere. Practice for unlimited hours, and once you feel confident about your gameplay, then only head over to play for actual money.