3 betting in poker is a term that most veterans are familiar with, and most beginners find it interesting to learn about since it's used everywhere in the world of poker. Whether you're an online poker player or you prefer playing live, poker actions are everything that your gameplay resides on. The choices you make with the cards you hold are what essentially gives you a profit or a loss. Poker betting mechanisms are vital to guide you towards the pot, and that is where we find poker 3 bets to be effective.
Although the concept is more so for those used to the varied nuances of the game, it also applies to novice players who wish to play the big money tournaments where all of this is common. Most poker players who even understand poker rules get confused with 3 betting in poker. Some three-bet way too wide in the range and some way too tight. Both of these extremes can be easily exploited. Understanding the core reasoning behind 3 betting in poker will significantly aid you in making the right decision. Basically, there are only two ways of 3 betting in poker: the value three-bet and the light three-bet.
The Value Three-Bet
The value three-bet is the original three-bet system and is the same as any other value bet that you would do in a game. You are confident of having the best of all poker hands, and so you would like to push more money into the pot while having the advantage. The poker hands that are worth value three-bets are not clearly defined. It depends on the way the table plays; the way your opponents perceive you and you perceive them and much more.
Essentially, you must have the hand that beats your opponent's range. If you're playing against a regular tight-aggressive player, your three-bet for value could be very tight. If you are against a loose-aggressive player or a fish, your range will likely be wider. The only issue with three-betting too tightly is that you could be predictable. If you're playing with the same players regularly, they can easily make out that you have a super-strong hand if you keep three-betting this way.
The Light Three-Bet
If you reraise a pre-flop raised while holding a hand that does not rank as the best, but is valuable for many reasons, then such a three-bet is called the Light Three-Bet in poker. This is also a semi-bluff because your primary motive is to win the pot immediately, and you would also want your opponent to fold to your reraise. Hence, your ideal opponent to light three-bet against would be a player who is loose with their opening raise. You know that they prefer to raise light, which is why you can reraise them light. You are confident that they will fold eventually and so you can win the pot without even seeing the flop.
How 3 Betting Light Benefits Your Image
If you are someone who is known to be playing really tight, then you are going to find it challenging to get paid from your big hands. Since everyone knows you're a tight player, they will understand that you have a strong hand in case you come out blazing. However, by light three-betting, your image of being a nit will be gone. Three-bets are designed in a way that they divert the image you previously had and thus allow you to play a more rounded game.
Make Them Fold
When you attempt a three-bet, your goal is to somehow force and make your aggressive opponent fold and not fight back. However, if your opponent chooses not to fold, at least you can rely on your hand's strength. This is precisely why we always select the very top of our folding range to go for a three-bet. Our backup plan is to rely on in case things don't work out the way we want them to. If your opponent folds to an excess of 66% of all your three-bets, it will prove to be profitable play as soon as you three-bet them. This does not even take into consideration the times your opponent might make a call, and you either play them on the flop or hit your hand for the win.
Don't Go Overboard with Three-Bets
What you need to understand as a poker player is that most of the value that the light three-bet generates comes from the fact that at its core, it is a semi-bluff. You are not aiming to beat anybody outright. It is a more tactical style of play where you are trying to daunt your opponents into them, thinking that you hold the strongest chance of winning. Basically, your strength comes from the point of reliance where you are hoping for your opponent to fold almost every time.
Just like with everything else in poker, the particular overuse of three-bets would result in your opponents losing the respect they may have for you during the game. They are likely to see through what you are doing, and they will start to try and get one-up on you. The moment that happens, the purpose of three-betting is lost. Your fold equity will be gone, and there won't be any value to get from three-betting light. This would make for a good time to change things up a little and gain some rewards from your confused opponents to give you a light pay off.
And with that, we hope you understood how 3 betting in poker works. It could be a slightly complicated topic for those who are not regular poker players, but it is essential to incorporate it into your game plan. You will find many such profitable and knowledgeable blogs on the official Spartan Poker website where you can get all the information you need before you could even get started to play poker online. And once you find yourself to be prepared, you can download our app and play online poker tournaments whenever and wherever you want.