Do you want a simple step by step guide to show you exactly how to start winning consistently right now? That is why I recently wrote this free little 50 page no BS guide to teach you exactly how to start crushing these games right now. Enter your details below and I will send my free poker cheat sheet to your email right now. I will of course just flat with many of these hands as well depending on the situation. The point here is that my goal when playing against good thinking opponents is always to make myself as unreadable as possible.
I will regularly both 3Bet and flat them with all of these hands, and in all situations, because it makes guessing what I have nearly impossible. So an aggressive reg like this is going to fight back frequently of course. This can happen in one of two ways. When a good, balanced reg flats my 3Bet we can put them on a much wider range than the guys who fold everything but the nuts who we discussed before. I also expect them to be getting tricky with a premium hand from time to time as well.
I expect at least as much resistance though because a big part of their plan when flatting me preflop was to try and outplay me postflop. So we need to devise a much more sophisticated strategy against these types of players than "make a CBet most of the time and give up if they call or raise. And as you might have guessed, the line that I choose to take will very often depend heavily on the specific postflop weaknesses that I notice in their HUD stats.
Once again, they all have leaks at the micros. You just need to dig a little bit deeper with the better regs like this. So let's take a look at those two tougher regs that we identified above once again. However, this time we will focus on the postflop stats. When somebody flats me preflop single raised pot or 3Bet pot the first thing that I want to know is if I can barrel them off. We know that this player is weak quite a bit postflop and a double barrel will put tremendous pressure on him.
Phil Ivey talks about "sizing down" like this a lot in his new advanced poker strategy course. Basically by making out CBets smaller, it allows us more room to keep betting later on in the hand. However, as I also mentioned before, I constantly want to be mixing things up against players like this so that they can never get a read on what hand that I am likely to show up with.
I will do this with a wide range of hands not just the nuts in order to balance my play. When you are capable of taking lines like this against the better regs from time to time with a wide variety of hands it will mess with their heads in a big way. They will be much more reluctant to play back at you again in the future.
Let's look at the full ring reg again:. The double barreling option isn't really there with this reg. You can see that he is a huge calling station. Could we entertain the idea of a triple barrel against him? Well, we require a massive sample in order to have useful information on this stat.
This is because even though we have hands on this player, he has never faced a triple barrel over this sample. As you can see above, I do not include this stat on my HUD. However, I do refer to it regularly in the popup display. However, making a play like this requires an extremely precise read. And given the fact that this particular player doesn't fold very often to a CBet on the flop or the turn I will rarely be taking a bet, bet or a bet, bet shove line without a big hand. So this opens up the option of several other lines depending on our position in the hand.
We know that he isn't going to fold very often so this line provides some pot control and perhaps allows us to get some thin value with a mediocre hand as well. If we are OOP though, in order to find the right line will need some specific information on how our opponent reacts when the preflop raiser fails to make a CBet.
The "Float" stat in the flop tab of the PokerTracker 4 popup display is the one that you want. Sometimes you don't even need to bother with it though. You may have noticed above on the HUD that this player has a maniacal total AF of 6 over a large sample. So yes, he will almost certainly bet with any two cards if we check to him. Since this player is so overly aggressive postflop he will probably fire again with weak hands if we call and show weakness again on the turn.
Because you will of course get called once in awhile. There is nothing worse in the world than getting hero called here and finding out that you are drawing dead. You need to have a very precise read in order to attempt a play like this. It is important to note however that a big part of their range is still for value. We don't want to start shipping in stacks every time with pocket 9's.
So most of the time you should in fact still just be folding. However, once somebody's 4Bet ratio reaches 3, 4 or higher you would definitely be making a mistake by only shoving with premium hands. They have enough bluffs in their range that we should also be 5Bet shipping "light" on occasion as well. Ax hands are good to shove with because you will literally always have some kind of equity unless they have AA.
Since we have an ace the chances of them having one as well are low. And it is even more unlikely that they will have an ace that is worth calling off their stack with. But even in this scenario we still aren't drawing dead by any means. Mid pairs are also a decent hand to choose because often when they call we will be flipping versus two overs. It is pretty hard for them to have a higher pair. Kx hands, broadways and suited connectors are definitely the types of hands that you will want to avoid shoving with because you will often have very poor equity if the stacks go in.
Please note that sample size is insanely important here. Also, as mentioned, I am only ever doing this versus the extremely aggressive regs who have a wide 4Bet bluffing range. You probably won't see too many players like this until NL25 and even there they are still rare.
If you play at NL10 or below I would suggest that you not even think about shoving light versus anybody right now. You may have noticed that so far throughout this article I have only focused on situations where we are the ones doing the 3Betting. What about all of the times when somebody 3Bets us though? This of course will happen very often especially as you move up the micros.
Well for starters, we need to be aware of the action in the hand once again. As I discussed above, we should be careful with messing around with regs when they open in EP. Well, I think we should assume that most regs are thinking the same thing about us as well. Even if only on an instinctive level, most of the bad regs will understand that people tend to have a tighter range when they open from EP.
The good regs of course will certainly be aware of this. So generally speaking, when you open in EP and a reg 3Bets you from where ever the alarm bells should be going off. They probably have something decent to great a lot of the time. No, that 18 tabling nit didn't decide to mess with your UTG open out of the blue! He is in fact turning his hand face up and politely letting you know that he has a monster. So most of the time I will just be folding my small and mid pairs as well as my weaker broadways and weaker aces.
Position certainly does play a role here. I will be more inclined to call if they 3Bet me from the blinds. However, on the whole, I will give most regs quite a bit of respect in a spot like this. This is especially the case at a full ring table. When the action in the hand is around the button though it is a whole different story. It will also very much depend on how 3Bet happy they are. Then it is probably safe to say that they have a decent number of "light" holdings in their range alongside their value hands.
So once somebody 3Bets us we of course have two options:. Ok I lied. We could fold as well. But where is the fun in that? You should of course be choosing option 3 a lot of the time. However, there isn't much to talk about when we fold so let's move on to flatting the 3Bet. Position is Hugely Important. Flatting a 3Bet when you do not have the nuts and playing back at them in the right spots is made infinitely easier when you get to act last after the flop, turn and river. You get to see what they do first on every single street.
You can then choose to float, raise or bet given the board texture and what the HUD data is telling you about their specific weaknesses. So I will be quite a bit more inclined to flat a 3Bet preflop if I am in position. If I am out of position, then I will be more inclined to take the 4Bet line which I will discuss shortly. So as you might have guessed the line that I choose to take postflop will once again heavily depend on any specific weaknesses that I see in my opponent's game.
They all have them at these limits as we have seen multiple times already. Let's look at another decent reg and break down the best line of attack as the preflop caller. When you flat a 3Bet the first thing that you should always look at are the CBet by street stats. You can see with this particular opponent that he is 80, 54 and respectively.
Now it is important to keep in mind that these numbers are for single raised pots only. You can pull up the popup display and find the numbers for 3Bet pots if you want. However, I find that most people tend to play similarly in both situations especially if they have a reasonably wide 3Betting range, which this player does. So the line that immediately makes the most sense against this particular player is to float the flop and then bet when he checks to us on the turn.
I want to make it clear that I am by no means doing this every single time. It really is important that you fold a good chunk of the time as well especially when you have nothing at all. But calling 3Bets preflop and then only continuing when you hit top pair or a good draw is a good way to burn through money really fast. So I will be frequently looking to take the pot away if I have any equity at all i.
So let's look at the very final scenario now. We get 3Bet by an aggressive reg yet again. We are OOP so the flatting option does not seem very appealing. We know that this guy is out of line so we decide to put in the 4Bet. It is important that once you get to about NL25 that you add a 4Bet bluffing element to your game.
Please don't get me wrong. Bluffs should still represent a very small portion of your overall 4Betting range. So you should be happy calling off your stack the large majority of the time when your opponent decides to make the 5Bet. However, with the amount of 3Betting that goes on with some regs these days at the upper end of the micros you simply can't just lay down and die every time.
The beauty of 4Betting is that it draws a line in the sand and basically forces them to have a real hand in order to continue. So what hands do we want to be 4Bet bluffing with? Well, usually something that I don't mind throwing away to a shove and which blocks a bunch of high cards. I am never calling a shove with any of these, I just want them to fold.
And it is a little bit less likely that they will have the big ace or pair to shove with since I have blockers to those in my own hand. If you want a much more detailed explanation on my 4Betting strategy including what hands to do it with and which player types to target, I have a big section on this in my latest poker book The Micro Stakes Playbook.
I have talked about regs, and especially good regs, throughout this entire article. However, I would be remiss not to mention at least something about the players who are the entire reason why you should be playing poker.
If you have read my blog before, watched my videos or read either of my books then you will know that I am constantly preaching the importance of table selection in today's games. The best way to "crush" a good reg is to not play against them in the first place! Go chase the fish and the bad regs around and watch your win rate skyrocket.
So let's talk about recreational players in particular. How should we approach playing 3Bet pots against them? Well, as usual it is a little bit all over the place because there is no rhyme or reason behind their play a lot of the time.
The action in the hand will not matter for instance. If they 3Bet your EP open it is not nearly the same thing as if a reg does this. This is because fish have no concept of stuff like position and ranges at the poker table. They don't know what these terms even mean and they don't care either.
They just play the game for fun. Most recreational players will have stats that look something like this:. However, the thing with fish is that the hands they choose to make a 3Bet with will sometimes be completely random. For instance, sometimes out of nowhere they will decide that it is a good idea to make a 3Bet with a hand like A2, QT, 66 or T8.
Don't get me wrong. But they also like to slowplay these hands quite a bit too. So a decent chunk of their 3Betting range will just be some random nonsense. The other thing about recreational players is that they are so incredibly profitable to play against postflop. These guys lose money at an incredible pace because they do stuff like this all the time:.
Basically our implied odds are through the roof when seeing a flop with a player like this. Furthermore, often their preflop 3Bet is undersized. This not only gives us a much better price to get involved but it keeps the stacks deeper after the flop which gives us a lot more maneuverability.
So I will be much more inclined to call a 3Bet even OOP versus a recreational player with all sorts of speculative hands. I know that they will frequently make colossal mistakes after the flop and therefore my slightly "loose" calls preflop will get paid off in a big way.
So I want to thank you for reading if you got to this point! Here is what I hope will be your biggest takeaway from this article:. The key to dominating in 3Bet pots is understanding who your opponent is and finding their specific weaknesses both before the flop and after it. However, if you play without a HUD or you play live , then this just boils down to improving your observational skills at the poker table. Poker is a game based around information and so even when you are not involved in hand you should be paying attention and taking mental notes for future hands.
Posted by BlackRain Labels: 3Bet pots , poker 3bet strategy , poker 3Betting. BlackRain79 21 July. Jorge Volante 21 July. Arty McFly 21 July. Now, determining which hands you should defend in the big blind versus a small blind open, and how to defend them, is a trickier process that is still debated today. Assuming your opponent is opening a wide range like the one above, you should be defending the majority of hands. Exactly which of them is a matter of taste, but generally you should use a polarized range by default and against opponents who fold frequently to 3-bets.
Versus loose opponents who frequently call 3-bets, it is better to use a linear range aka merged range , which consists of only good and playable hands. Learn more about these two 3-betting strategies here. This is because the preflop ranges are much wider, which means that fewer overpairs and fewer pairs with good kickers will be made on the flop. This has a couple of postflop implications.
Firstly, you should defend much wider against c-bets. This can take the form of weaker made hands, such as bottom pairs and ace-highs, or hands that can improve on later streets. For example, you may want to defend aggressively with hands that have backdoor equity, such as backdoor nut flush draws, or hands that have both a backdoor straight draw and a backdoor flush draw.
Secondly, when you flop top pair, you should call down most of the time. Top pair is a strong hand when flopped in early position, and even stronger when flopped blind versus blind. Of course, this is board-dependent—if the board runs out terribly for your top pair e. Just make sure you still have enough calling hands to avoid being exploited. The flop comes:. However, playing blind versus blind, folding opens us up to exploitation. Thomas checks, and Jamie checks back. It does, however, mean that you can often times call a bet with ace-high when the board texture is dry such as or K73 , and include a few more ace-highs in your check-calling range.
Otherwise, an aggressive opponent will be able to exploit you easily by bluffing versus your unprotected range. This prevents your opponent from exploiting you by probing and barreling on the turn and river. This achieves two things:. On the flop, optimal betting ranges tend to be merged i.
On the river, by contrast, betting ranges should generally be polarized, as aggressors will either have a value hand or a bluff.
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