poker 3-bets

Poker 3-bets are as simple as one, two, three. Well, almost that simple anyway. They’re a crucial and very familiar part of poker playing.

Whether you’re playing a cash game or a tournament in Texas Hold’em or pretty well any other type of no-limit poker, you’re bound to come across them during basically every session.

And yes, that counts if you’re in some far flung poker holiday destination, playing with your friends at home or simply grinding out an online session in a poker room like bet365 (bonus code here for newbies).

We’re going to cover everything  you need to know on the topic of poker 3-bets. So that means when you come across it, or when you try it yourself, you’ll know exactly how to handle the situation and what message it sends to other players.

1. Poker 3-bets are simply the third bet pre-flop

It really is that simple. A poker 3-bet is the one that comes after the blind (the first bet) and the first raise (the second bet) before the shared community cards (also known as the flop) are dealt.

2. When you 3-bet, you’re telling the table you’ve got a strong hand

Just think about it. When someone starts 3-betting in poker, they putting more bucks behind their hand. They seem to be literally betting on it being stronger than yours. Of course, there could be other reasons for this move. But that’s the most basic one.

3. This is a classic move of aggressive players

Poker 3-bets are often linked to players who have an aggressive style of play. This isn’t one of those shrinking violet, go-with-the-flow moves.

4. Poker 3-bets usually aim to maximize value

With a poker 3-bet, the main aim is to maximize the value of the pot. By increasing the bets, you’re encouraging a juicier pot. 

5. It’s a good way to lower your opponents too

If it doesn’t cost a lot of chips to play, a lot of players at your table might just limp in with middling hands and see what happens. Then there’s a bigger chance someone will hit something flukey on the flop, turn, river. However, if you 3-bet at the start, fewer players will want to pay the price of admission. Therefore, you’re lowering the number of players you’re going up against post-flop. That does good things for your odds.

6. Sometimes people use the 3-bet as a bluffing tactic

People will often use poker 3-bets to over represent their hand. And not just “over represent”, flat out bluff.

It’s actually a great approach to bluffing. But the trick is to read the table and use this approach sparingly. Because if you keep 3-betting, people are going to stop believing you. They’ll quite literally call your bluff and then they’ll see you were bluffing and BAM, you’ll feel the shame of knowing that people can read you like a Marian Keyes.

7. Late position is a great spot to try 3-betting

Being in late position in poker (being among the last players to act in a hand), is the most desirable place to be. It means that you can see exactly how other players are doing, whether that’s bet, raise or fold, before the action gets to you. That means that it’s a perfect spot to try out a 3-bet, whether it’s a bluff or you genuinely have a good hand and want to max that value out.

So if you’re new to the world of poker 3-bets, that’s when we think you should give it a whirl.