Three Betting in Poker - What is Three Betting

Three betting has increased in popularity as poker games have gotten more and more aggressive. If you’re not making constant three bets, you are probably being crushed by the other aggressive players at the table.

The problem with three betting for most players, is that they are three betting either too frequently or not often enough. It can be a challenge to find this middle range.

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Purpose of 3 Betting

Three bets serve two primary purposes. The first reason that players three bet is because they have a b hand and want to extract the most value possible. The second primary reason why players three bet is because they want to help balance their range. Balancing a range is when you make a bluff in the same spot where you could be making a raise with a b hand. If you make the same plays over and over again when you have a b hand, the other players are going to pick up on it. If you occasionally make a bluff in a spot where you might have a b hand, however, your opponents are going to be caught off guard. This is why it is important that you balance your range and not play predictable poker.

Three betting can be a tricky skill as you don’t want to raise too much, but you don’t want a raise too little either. The effectiveness of any three bet is going to depend upon a handful of variables. If you’re making a three bet against a loose player, you should generally have a b hand. These players hate to fold, so three betting that the weekend is pointless. When you three bet with weaker hands you want to force folds whenever possible, so you should be making them against players who are capable of folding.

Identifying a loose player versus a tight player can be a challenge in and of itself. Once you’ve played a few orbits with a set group of players, it should be easy to tell who is playing tight and who’s playing loose. If you don’t have any type of read or feel for someone at your table, you should avoid making three bets without a b hand.

How to Size Your Three Bets

The sizing of your three bets will largely determine how effective they are. If your three bets are always tiny, you’re going to get a lot more calls than if they are large. This doesn’t mean that you should make large three bets when you have a weak hand in an effort to force folds. Your bet sizing should be dependent upon the person you are raising. If you don’t want to play post-flop, and really want to force folds, you should make a bet that looks like a b hand. Generally, players that have a b hand are going to make raises that are large enough for call, but not so big that they’re going to force folds. This is a problem that many players have, trying to make abnormally large bets in order to force folds. Make your bets believable and you’re going to find that you get folds a lot more often.

Deception is everything in poker, if your opponents think you’re doing one thing and you’re actually doing another, you’re going to be very profitable.

Starting Hand Strategy Guide:

Strategy Article 1. Limit Holdem Starting Hands

Strategy Article 2. Omaha Hi Lo Starting Hands

Strategy Article 3. No Limit Starting Hands

Strategy Article 4. Omaha Hi Starting Hands

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