So continuing on with my mini-series on poker stats, I want to talk briefly about pre-flop 3-betting. Really I think this should be a pretty easy area for people to master if they aren’t doing it very well right now, by just doing the following:


  1. Keep your 3-betting range mostly polarized (3-betting your value range and bluff range).
  2. 3-bet your bluff range almost exclusively in position.
  3. 3-bet bluff regs who are over ISOing bad players.
  4. Don’t 3-bet weak hands vs. steals very often.


A good 3-betting range for cash games should be (roughly based on Leak Buster stat ranges):

  • 6.5 – 9.5 6-max cash
  • 5.4 – 8.8 Full ring cash


So the reason stats matter here is because if we’re not in this range above, then we’re missing profitable opportunities. They are just clues that are telling us, “hey, numnutz… you like money right? Well, you need to be 3-betting more.”

Through the use of stat analysis, we’re able to determine there’s a deficiency in our game. And yes of course, we could just 3-bet a ton more, or a ton less, and then try and use that poker image to get our opponents to make other mistakes we exploit. However, for most poker players, especially online players, I’d argue this is a moot point. At high stakes games there can be some merit, but in general to create a specific image you have to know your opponents are actually paying attention and/or running a HUD, and that you will be able to properly know when they are reacting to your image and make the proper next level play to exploit their adjustment. That’s a whole other topic all together. For most players, as long as you stay somewhere in this range, then you know you’re getting good value in most of your poker situations.

The most common poker leak for 3-betting, is not 3-betting enough. If this is the case, then you just need to work on recognizing those profitable spots to incorporate more of your bluffing range, and which opponents to add more of your mid range hands as value 3-bets (AJo, KJs, etc… against weak players).

So you can look to 3-bet a regular who is over ISOing:

Or 3-bet a weak player with our weak range of mid value range:

And again, if you’re adding more 3-bets, look to do it in position. You can usually just bet ~1/2 pot in a 3-bet pot when you whiff and make it profitable against most opponents if you’re in position. They key here again is don’t over do it. Just add a few more hands in, and try to get into a more profitable 3-betting range.

For more information about Leak Buster and stat analysis – visit the Leak Buster page HERE.

Next up…. AGG% / AF (aggression factor).