3 Bet Poker Meaning

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  1. 3 Bet Poker Glossary
  2. 3 Bet Poker Clothing

The 'float play' is an advanced bluffing technique in Texas Holdem that is extended over two betting rounds. The principle role of the play is to make your opponent believe you have a stronger hand than theirs via the flop and turn betting rounds, and thus closing down the action and winning the pot on the turn. A three bet is a term used in both cash game and tournament play, and simply means to put in the third bet. The term is a little confusing to some players since it seems to imply putting in the third raise, when actually it generally refers to the second raise. 3bet = The third bet in any given sequence of bets. Watch Kara Scott Interview with Martin Jacobson on 3 betting: The reason for the confusion is that when we 3bet preflop it appears to actually be only the second bet in the sequence.

What is a 3 Bet?

  • Apr 20, 2009 Three betting is a critical part of modern poker. Before the advent of online poker, a third bet in no limit and pot limit games generally indicated a very strong hand. Now, as games have gotten more aggressive, the three bet is used quite liberally by players in cash and tournament play alike. Knowledge of when you should three bet and what your opponent’s three betting range is are both critical skills for players hoping to profit in modern poker.
  • In poker, a '3bet' occurs when there is a bet, raise and re-raise. The re-raise is the '3bet'. For instance - let's say that you are playing in a cash game. You currently have the button. A player from early position raises, and you look down and pocket Aces. You put in a re-raise, or '3bet'.

You may have heard the phrase 3 bet watching poker on TV or at your local casino and wondered what it meant. A 3 Bet is the term used in poker to describe a specific re raise. A 3 bet is typically made before the flop but can also be performed post flop. It is the third bet on a specific round. Check out examples below:

Example 1 (Pre-Flop)

Player A calls £5 before the flop, Player B raises to £20, Player C re-raises to £65 from the small blind. This raise by Player C is a “3 bet”. This is effectively the third bet, hence the phrase “3 bet”.
Example 2 (Post-Flop)
Player A raises to £20 and Player B calls from the big blind. The flop is Jh 7s 2d. Player B checks, Player A bets £30 (1st bet) , Player B re-raises to £75 (2nd bet) and Player A puts in re raise to £225 (3rd bet or “3bet”).

What Can 3 Betting Mean?

A decade ago, a 3 bet before the flop usually meant a premium hand (Pocket Jacks or better) however, with the evolution of online poker and aggressive poker strategy, this is no longer the case. A pre flop 3 bet now can be given less credence, particularly with certain players. The context, table demographic and opponent 3 betting are the key factors to be looked at when considering what to do in the face of this move. It is now used to isolate weak players, steal the pot pre flop, exploit a player opening too wide, balance a player’s re raise range or just to have the lead in the hand. This is why observing your opponents, taking notes and understanding their strategy is key to winning. If you know player A knows you are opening 90% of hands on the button and is an observant, thinking player, he is likely to open his range of 3 betting range from the blinds.

When Should One 3 Bet?

Context and history is very important. If you are facing a player that is super tight when facing a re-raise, you can 3 bet almost with impunity. On the other hand, if you are facing a maniacal player who has shown tendency to move all in before the flop and 4 bet lightly. You should be more wary about 3 betting with nothing. Perhaps consider lessening your stacking off range and be prepared to hold on.


3 Bet Poker Meaning

3 Bet Poker Glossary

A 3 bet is an important weapon in a winning player’s arsenal. When used effectively, it can make you feel unbeatable, particularly when you’re doing it with rags. The key thing to remember when 3 betting or facing 3 bets, is making a calculated decision before the flop. Is your opponent likely to be holding a weak hand or not? If not, you are more often than not facing the dreaded Aces or Kings. Playing the player is critical when it comes down to 3 bets.
If you are keen to learn more about 3 betting and how to incorporate them in your game. Feel free to contact us or sign up to our poker training video membership to see how 3 bets can be used in tournaments.

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This article will focus on pre-flop 3-Betting

So what is a 3 bet in poker?

3 Bet Poker Clothing

  • A 3 bet refers to any time a player makes the third bet in a pot. 3 bets can happen on any street, but this article will focus on preflop 3betting. The mandatory blinds count as the first bet, the open-raise counts as the second bet, and any raise following this will be a 3 bet.
  • ' The 3 bet most commonly refers to the time when you raise the pre-flop opening raise of your opponent'
  • The same rule applies to the'4 bet' and the '5 bet' (It's basically just a shortened abbreviation for saying 'The third bet in the round')
  • So when should we 3 bet???

    There are 3 main reasons why you want to 3 bet. Before you 3 bet you should have one of them in mind:

    • For value
    • As a bluff
    • To set up a post-flop steal (or pre-flop steal)
    • Value

      We 3 bet for valuebecause we believe our hand to be stronger than our opponents hand, so we want to milk as much money out of our opponent as possible. The best players to target with value 3 bets are those with a low fold-to-3 bet. This means that they will call your 3-bet with a decent amount of worse hands. A common mistake is to 3 bet a hand which may seem like a strong hand, but against the range that villain continues with, is relatively weak.

      In a 6-max game, especially at lower stakes, you should only be 3-betting premium hands for value: 99+, AJss+. Please note that this range will widen if you face a loose opponent. So if you're facing up against an opponent who's going to call all of your 3-bets no matter what hand he is holding, then you need to widen your 3bet range, 3bet more hands and raise it up more.

      Generally you want to 3 bet less often for value against early position opens. 3 betting vs early opens looks very strong and you may end up isolating yourself against a range you don’t do well against. Even with the top end of your value range, you may be getting folds more often than you’d like, and flatting becomes a very viable option. Even hands as strong as QQ and AKo, you can strongly consider flatting vs an UTG open-raise.

      To summarize you want to be value 3 betting against players with a 'low fold to 3 bet (Ft3bet)' and a high 'Attempt to steal (ATS)'.

      You want to be 3 betting a value range of premium hands, and rarely/never bluffing. Flatting is often a good option against early position opens.


      You want to target players with a high Ft3bet and a high ATS. If a player is not folding often enough to 3 bets then you will not have a profitable 3 bet bluff. A high ATS means villain’s range will be wider in general and he will find it harder to combat 3 bets.

      Most often you will want to play 3 bet poker as a bluff against positions where your opponent's range is going to be traditionally wide, i.e - BU, CO, and SB opens. However, a better player might perceive your 3 bets to be lighter against these positions and will play back more frequently. Against better opponents you can make advanced plays such as 3 bet bluffing vs UTG or MP opens. They won’t expect you to be bluffing here and may make some very tight folds.

      The hands you 3 bet bluff with should be those not quite strong enough to call, but still with some potential. Hands like Q9s, T8s, Axs, Kxs. If a hand is strong enough to call, you should not be 3 betting it, for the reasons given in the KQo example. If villain is the type who will adjust by 4 betting light, you will also want to include some of the top value hands in your 3 betting range. 3 betting the top end and bottom end of your range is referred to as 3 betting a polarized range.

      You will also want to 3 bet bluff in-position more often than out-of-position, simply because you will have more fold equity in position.

      To Set up a Steal

      Perhaps villain is the type that calls a lot of 3bets but plays fit-or-fold on the flop. You can 3 bet with the intention of taking it down on the flop. You can 3 bet pre-flop with both bluffs and value-hands, but it will possibly be easier and higher EV to do it with a merged-value range. (You won’t lose EV by not flatting your medium value hands when villain has a low Ft3bet)

      In slightly more advanced games you can also 3 bet with the intention of setting up a pre-flop steal. Perhaps you know villain is going to be 4bet bluffing you a ton, so you can 3bet with the intention of 5 bet jamming as a bluff. Good hands to choose are those that have the best equity if they do end up getting called, eg pocket pairs like 88, or Axs type hands. The situations you can profitably do this at the micro-stakes are somewhat rare, but they do exist.

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      The preflop 3bet/4bet/5bet 'mind game' battles:

      This is an entire pre-flop game in itself. The objective is to adjust the ranges you 3bet/4bet/5bet in an attempt to find an edge against your opponent’s own 3bet/4bet/5bet ranges.

      The idea behind the 3bet/4bet/5bet game can be demonstrated using a simple example:

      • Let’s suppose player A opens on the button. Player B who is in the big-blind knows player A likes to open an extremely wide range from the Button. Player B decides to 3 bet bluff.
      • Player A however, by now, knows that player B knows that he is open-raising wide. Player A decides player B’s 3 betting range is wide enough and light enough to put In a 4 bet bluff. Player B though, knows that player A knows his 3 bet range might be light, and decides to 5 bet bluff assuming player A’s 4 bet range is sufficiently light.
      • Usually the 3bet/4bet/5bet game ends here, because 100bb deep the stacks will often be all-in. Just because player A and player B are assuming each other is light though, that doesn't mean they are. Perhaps player B, knowing player A likes to 4 bet light, started 3 betting purely for value. Or, perhaps player A, knowing player B is capable of 5 bet jamming light, started 4 betting purely for value. If either player had made such an adjustment, they’d find themselves in a very profitable spot.

      For the above situation to take place, first the correct game dynamic needs to be established. At micro-stakes, a dynamic conducive to 5 bet-bluff jamming is pretty rare. The majority of players aren't 4 betting light enough for a 5 bet-bluff to be profitable. People do 3bet light a decent amount however, so you should still be focusing on your 3 bet/4 bet ranges. Usually you only want to 5 bet shove for value. This might sound “unbalanced”, but in reality it isn't. You are just selecting the appropriate 5 bet frequency to exploit your opponents, i.e 95% value 5% bluffs.