Winning 3-Bet Pots When Out of Position

New Online Poker Poker Strategy

In this post we are going to look at tips to pulling off the hardest move in poker, winning 3-Bet pots when we are out of position. These are especially hard because we don’t have the betting lead and we are first to act so we need to work in some punchy moves to take down these pots.

These pots are really important ones to be playing correctly because they are larger than single raised pots and if we play too passively in these spots we will be losing a tonne of equity.

Check-Raise your draws

It can be an understandable thing to do in a 3-Bet pot just to flop a decent draw and want to peel the Turn card rather than raise, but stop! We can’t do this, we need to get aggressive move our opponent off some hands and turn up the heat.

Let’s look at this example in a $1/$2 deep-stacked cash game.

Hero: Raises to $6 with T♥ 9♥
BTN: 3-Bets to $20
Hero: Calls

Flop: 4♣ Q♥ J♦

Hero: Checks
BTN: Bets to $30
Hero: 3-Bets to $100

open-ended flopWhen we 3-Bet call here we can have 44, QJs and sometimes JJ or AQ that will make up our value raises on this board, we can check-raise our semi-bluffs like T9s KTs and some 98s to balance out our value hands too.

This will make it less easy for our opponent to read us because if we only raise here with our value hands we are too easy to play against.

The downside is that sometimes we might have to fold if our opponent 4-Bets this flop, they are likely going to do this with hands that have our equity in very bad shape, but the upside of this is because we will be balanced we will be doing this move with a tonne of strong hands too which we will welcome getting 4-Bet in this spot with.

Turn Pairs into Bluffs

A play I used to make when I was getting into poker and I still see it from time to time now, is people hanging around with pocket pairs on boards with 2 or 3 overcards to their hand because they just “Don’t think this player has anything” it’s a pretty poor game plan used by new players, where they will just refuse to believe someone has hit the flop.

Well, we are going to look at a better way we can use these missed set opportunities with this addition to our gameplan.

Let’s look at this example in a $1/$2 deep-stacked cash game.

Hero: Raises to $5 with 5♥ 5♦
BTN: 3-Bets to $18
Hero: Calls

Flop: 6♣ K♥ 8♦

Hero: Checks
BTN: Bets to $25
Hero: 3-Bets to $95

underpair to the board

So these boards are a little harder to balance, we have our value raises which will be 66 and 88 as all of our KK combos will 4-Bet for value and protection pre-flop, but which bluffs do we have on this board?

Well, we could say hands like 97s and 57s but we shouldn’t be peeling these hands out of position to 3-Bets too often so whilst we might have those combinations in a single raised pot this hand is slightly different so we will need to get a bit creative in finding our bluffs here.

Good additions to our bluffing range will be hands like 55, 77 and 44 on this board type because they can Turn equity when called in the shape of straight draws or sets even.

The good thing about 3-Betting hands like this is that our opponent could be betting to protect a hand like 99QQ that will fold to a large raise, they could even have some bluffs themselves and just be trying to take down the pot here with a C-bet with their Ace high combos.

So raising here is a decent option for us a small percentage of the time when we miss our hand, just don’t go too nuts and do it every time otherwise we will be way over-bluffing. A good way to mix our strategy is to use a random number generator (google it) set the limits between 1-100 and then if we decide we want to bluff on this board 25% of the time we will pull the trigger if we roll between 1-25 on each occasion.

3-Betting for Value

There are going to be spots where we are likely to have the best hand pre-flop but our hand is going to play much better for us if we flat call 3-Bets and play a smaller pot when out of position, hands like 99JJ are going to fall into this category.

Let’s look at this example in a $1/$2 deep-stacked cash game.

Hero: Raises to $6 with J♠ J♦
BTN: 3-Bets to $21
Hero: Calls

Flop: 6♣ 4♥ 4♦

Hero: Checks
BTN: Bets to $20
Hero: 3-Bets to $80

jj oop vs 3-betHere we have a few advantages of raising with our two pair, we can build a pot against worst hands like 77TT and we can protect our equity against our opponent’s hands that likely include over-cards.

Our opponent can bet small on this flop a lot and then just Check back on the Turn and see the River for free, we want to stop this from happening as any Queen, King or Ace hitting on either of these cards is very bad for our hand.

If we are met with a 4-Bet on this board some of the time we can even consider a lay down as our opponent could just be coolering us with QQAA.

Hopefully all these thoughts on lines we can take whilst out of position in these types of pots will help you with your game!

Remember to play balanced and try out using a random number generator with your mixing strategy and see if it helps.

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