What is 3-betting and 3-betting light?
Given how aggressive the play is in online poker, the 3-betting light is becoming one of the most popular decisions out there. A three-bet is a re-raise that a player makes before the flop, and players either do it for value, or they do a “light” version. Let’s take a look at each of these bets and how they can help you.
Understanding 3-betting and 3-betting light
The “value” three-bet means that you think your hand is the strongest currently on the table, and you want to add to the pot while you still have the upper hand. Whether or not you should put down the three-bet has to do with a number of factors. How’s the rest of the poker table looking in terms of the dynamics of your rivals? What tendencies does your opponent show? No matter if you’re playing a million dollar tournament or a friendly hand of free poker, you want win and hit a hand that will beat your opponent’s range. Are you playing a typical tight-aggressive player? Think about a fairly tight range then, maybe AA-Q-Q and A-K. If you’re facing a loose-aggressive player or someone who calls re-raises light? Think about a wider range. This could go A-A-99 or A-K-A-Q. If you are too tight with your three-betting range, you’re going to become predictable. Your opponents will realize that a three-bet means that you have a strong hand, and they won’t play along with you.
The “3-betting light” three-bet happens when you re-raise a pre-flop raise, even though you probably don’t have the best hand on the table, but you do see some value in the hand. When you’re doing this, it’s kind of like a bluff, without being a full bluff. You want to take the pot right away, and you’re hoping that your opponent will fold to that re-raise. So you’re looking for an opponent who is pretty loose with his initial raises. If you know that they raise light, you can return the favor, because you know that generally they’ll be folding. So you can carry the pot without even having to look at a flop.
Avoid the Patterns, Even More if you’re Playing Online
This means that you need to pay attention to the way you play and behave at the table. If your opponents see you as super tight, people aren’t going to pay you large for your strong hands. They know that you’re tight and when you come out with big guns, there must be a considerable hand in front of you. However, if you start three-betting light, that will alter the image. If you three-bet holding 7-6 and then show down a pair, you will shed that tight image quickly.
Obviously, you’ll want to keep your opponents guessing, though. Keep that range balanced so that your opponents won’t know whether you have A-A or 5-4 when you three-bet. When your opponents don’t know what you’re doing, they’re a lot more likely to make mistakes. They’ll end up calling your strong hands and folding when you didn’t even have a pair.