Aggression in poker leads to many big pots that’s why many great players use aggressive strategy at the table. Being aggressive in poker means betting and raising more frequently instead of checking and calling during hands. Poker aggression provides more success opportunities compared to a passive approach in the game.
The 3-bet was not common in the early days as the players kept it only for the strongest hands, like pocket aces. But as poker became more popular aggressive players identified its potential and knew how they could expand their earnings by widening the range of 3-bets. This article explains the 3-bet, its strategy types, when to use 3-betting, and when to avoid it.
What is a 3-Bet?
A 3-bet is the 3rd bet in the poker game sequence and is a first re-raise before the flop. This term also refers to the initial re-raise after the flop. The 3-bet is an aggressive move representing a strong hand, and you will face this frequently in tournaments, cash games, and online poker. Many players use it as one of the powerful betting strategies in Texas Hold’em.
The 3-bet compels the opponents to fold, and you can also use it to isolate shaky players. Using a 3-bet strategy helps you build and win a pot, plus you can increase your payouts.
Types of 3-bet Ranges
Following are the various types of 3-bet ranges.
This type includes 3-betting with a strong range like pocket aces or pocket kings. It is not considered the best strategy as many experienced players keep a close eye on the game and can quickly fold when they understand your strategy.
The polarized strategy involves 3-betting your best hands and sometimes a weaker hand, like high pocket pairs. In simple terms, this ranges consists of premium hands and bluffs. It is a better strategy than the strong range strategy but being selective on a weaker hand is a good idea.
It is also known as the liner range. This strategy typically involves 3-betting pots with premium hands and the other best ones. Simply put, you have to only 3-bet with your top five percent hands.
When to 3-bet?
3-betting is one of the most effective strategies in pot building. If you want more value for your good hands, play more aggressively. Beginners avoid aggression as they feel it leads everyone to fold, and they might lose the opportunity to earn some rewards, but this is not the case. Strong hands lose equity if you allow your opponents to limp into the flop. Instead, try hard to 3-bet on hands with more probability of winning, build pots and increase your chances of winning more profits.
Blind stealing is a common strategy in poker where players raise from late positions with any hand intending to steal the blinds. 3-betting allows you to counter this and secure the blinds by answering the opponent’s aggression with more aggression. The opponent will think twice before stealing your blinds in the future.
When NOT to 3-bet in poker
Although 3-betting is a powerful tool, it can underrate a strong hand if you do not use it selectively. Players with a small range can face problems if they frequently 3-bet. You should avoid 3-betting if you feel it cannot produce these results.
- Propel the opponent with a strong hand to fold
- Force the opponent with a weaker hand to call
- Cause an incomplete hand with fewer odds to call
Remember, your decisions depend on how much information you have about your opponent, strategies, and their moves. Going for a 3-bet without knowing the outcomes is not a wise decision to make.
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