Texas Hold Em Poker 3 Betting
Texas Hold Em poker 3 betting generally refers to a No Limit Texas Hold Em pre-flop betting strategy.
A 3 bet takes place when you re-raise the raiser. This re-raise is known as 3 betting.
As poker games have become more aggressive, the poker 3 bet has grown in popularity and is an important part of a poker player’s arsenal.
We will discuss the major reasons for Texas Hold Em poker 3 betting:
Increase Pot Size With The Best Hand For Value
The number one reason for 3 betting is to increase the size of the pot and the money to be won when you hold a strong hand.
This is the most obvious and easily understood reason for 3 betting in Texas Hold Em poker.
For example, if you hold AA and someone raises in front of you, you will want to 3 bet this player since you hold the strongest hand and want to inflate the size of the pot to win more money from your premium hand.
You are holding a great hand and therefore you are 3 betting for value.
To Narrow The Field
You may also want to narrow the field if there has been a raise and multiple callers before you and you hold AA.
AA is the best hand in poker but not one that you want to play multi-way without making opponents pay to see the flop, so you 3 bet to narrow the field and eliminate some of the random hands that hope to see a cheap flop and get lucky.
You may also 3 bet to narrow the field of opponents that you are playing against if you have a strong hand for heads up play but one that will become much weaker in a multi-way pot, or in order to get heads up with a weak player by chasing out other good players that may be tempted to come along.
An example of this in action would be if you hold 99 in late position and a weak player that goes too far with his hands has raised ahead of you. You may want to 3 bet in order to play heads up against the weak player and protect your 99 hand from other overcalls that will make it a difficult hand to play multi-way unless you hit a set.
By 3 betting, you will most likely force all of your other opponents to fold as well as get a call from the weaker player that is willing to take their hand too far. Now you can play the rest of the hand heads up against the weak player.
To Win Money From A Player That Will Fold Easily To A 3 Bet
A lot of players that go by the book will only 3 bet with hands such as AA, KK, AK and QQ. Therefore, they expect other players that 3 bet to generally be 3 betting the same range of hands. This type of player will also open raise many strong hands that they are unwilling to call a 3 bet with such as KQs, or AJs, or AQo for fear of coming up against a monster.
If you identify the players that will often raise strong hands pre-flop but fold them quickly to a 3 bet then you have a great opportunity to exploit their play by 3 betting with a wide range of hands.
This tactic has become very popular in today’s poker game and is commonly known as 3 betting light as the player’s that use it are willing to do it with a wide range of hands that are not traditionally considered to be 3 betting hands.
In addition, some of these players may call with their hand hoping to hit a flop with something like AK or a small pocket pair and then fold to your continuation bet immediately if they miss. This makes them very easy to exploit as they will miss their hand more often than not.
Also, if you know the player will only continue beyond the flop if they hit their hand, then you know that if you are called you should put the brakes on the betting and slow down, and fold if necessary. This straightforward response to your light 3 betting is exactly what you want in order to make a lot of extra money.
The above are the most common and the most straightforward reasons for 3 betting in Texas Hold Em poker.
For more advanced Texas Hold Em poker 3 betting strategy and for more reasons to 3 bet, please read part 2 of this article.
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