Poker Pro – Three-Bet
Beating today’s hyper-aggressive no-limit hold’em cash games online has become tougher than ever.
Today’s winning player employs a pre-flop betting strategy that includes a solid three-bet system.
Without a three-bet strategy you will be giving away information about what you are holding.
Opponents will be able to put you on a small range of hands because your three-bets will only occur when you have premium hands.
To avoid this you have to occasionally three-bet light, or in other terms, re-raise pre-flop with marginal holdings.
The light three-bet is essentially a semi-bluff with a couple of potential positive results.
First and foremost the light three-bet is intended to pick up the pot immediately by forcing the raiser to fold.
This works best against an aggressive player who makes a lot of raises pre-flop.
The chances that they are raising with a weak hand is increased the more active they are, and if you can make that player fold to your three-bet 66% of the time, it will be a profitable play.
The opposite will be true for a player that has a tight image.
They’re the predicable three-bettor you don’t want to be, and getting into a pre-flop betting war with this type of player can clean out your stack in a hurry.
Make sure the opponent you decide to three-bet is capable of trying to steal the blinds with a weak hand or you’ll just keep running into monster hands.
You should also continue to three-bet your premium hands as well.
Skilled players will either notice how often you’re three-betting or you will eventually win a hand after three-betting with weak holdings.
Once your opponents see that you’re capable of three-betting them with marginal hands, you will get more action on future three-bets.
There are many different opinions on which hands are the best to three-bet an opponent with, but the best hands are ones that are at the top of your folding range.
If your hand has some value you can still hit it on the flop to take down the pot.
Hands like aces with a smaller kicker or K-9 make good three-bet candidates.
It’s not a good idea to three-bet hands like medium suited connectors because they have a lot of flop value, and are usually better played by seeing a flop as cheap as possible.
Three-betting with two smaller cards will require that you hit both cards to be ahead, as opposed to potentially hitting an ace on the flop with ace-rag holdings against an opponent that raised with a pocket pair.
What you will find, to a surprising degree, is that most players will get out of the way when you drop the three-bet in there.
It helps to have the big stack at the table when you’re forcing the action that much pre-flop, but if you’re able to sniff out when an opponent is attempting to blind steal, the three-bet will be money in the bank.