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How to develop a strong 3betting strategy?

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  • How to develop a strong 3betting strategy?

    Developing a good 3bet strategy that I can confidently use is proving difficult so I think I need some input before I go too far off the deep end.

    Let’s start with a few of my conceptions or perhaps misconceptions about poker.

    We generally want 2 bluffs for every value bet or raise preflop and on the flop.

    It is generally better to be in heads up pots over multiway pots.

    The general population will play poorly against 3 bets folding or calling too much depending.

    Those three assumptions seem fine but when I bring them to a range analyzer and think about what I might 3 bet from BU v CO/HJ I get this. Now I can see a good argument for not 3 betting with AJs, AQo, 88, 99 but TT+ seems like you gotta as well as AQs, AK. That range is still 50 hands you have to find 100 bluffs right? To get that you can drop 3 off-suit combos and 1 suited combo, or 10 suited combos if you want more blockers.

    Assuming you want to 3bet with a 2 bluff to 1 value ratio.

    For every value combo of pairs you 3 bet you can bluff on offsuit cell or 3 suited depending on if you want blockers or post flop range playability

    Every offsuit value combo gives 2 offsuit buff or 3 suited bluff

    Every suited value combo give 2 suited bluff combos or a 66 percent bluff frequency to 1 offsuit cell that personal I couldn’t realistically implement currently.

    So is this range crazy? how would you fix it if is? And at the table when you know you are 3 betting for value with x number of pairs, y of offsuit and z of suited, how do you think about what you wanna bluff?

    Ultimately what I'm looking to figure out is how to take my value 3 bet range, which is relatively easy to gut check, and use that to determine what hands to bluff with in any given scenario but this range feels wide and simple, so how to fix it and how to put it all together into the ability to extrapolate a strong 3betting strategy in all scenarios.

    Hopefully that makes enough sense to criticize and we can poke n patch some holes in this strategy to something i can be more confident in.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Why try to create something when the work was already done by a poker solver?

    Preflop Chart |


    • #3
      They are great charts , but they are GTO charts that make the assumption that opponents will play perfectly. However I play in micro and small stakes where opponents will surly not be playing GTO is anyone is. I checked that against the GTO charts and they use alot of the same hand but at mixed frequency. That thing is I'm thinking that it might be fine to have a wide three betting range , and an over tight four betting range unless the villain shows himself capable of 3bet bluffing too often I'm finding average 3bet ranges too tight to reasonably play against. Though not taking my set mining odds with 88 and 99 is something i could be convinced is a mistake .


      • #4
        1) Your range looks way too wide. Additionally, you cannot have a 1 size fits all range. There is a concept of poker in over exploitation, which is shown to be a losing strategy. I believe this is an over-exploitation.

        2) GTO is an exploitative strategy already. Many misunderstand what GTO means. I did also until I read Michael Acevedo's Modern Poker Theory. In that he shows that GTO is an exploitative strategy that can be used against any who is not playing GTO. I believe that all exploitations must start from the GTO position. GTO already exploits a player. The further a player moves from this balance, the more you can attempt to exploit.

        3) A 3 bet value range is a direct function of the opening range of the player who raised. In general, you can 3 bet for value 20% - 25% of the openers range. You tend towards the lower end when the ranges are stronger and you can move towards the upper end when the range is wider. You can start moving upwards when your position is better. For example in the MP versus a tighter UTG range you should stick closer to the 20%, but on the button versus a wide CO range you can move to the upper end.

        4) GTO strategies for bluffing frequencies range from 1:1 in most cases, going up to 1.5:1 in button versus CO.

        5) GTO solvers bluff a polarized range.

        The above gives you a basic starting point for 3 bet range that would very closely approximate a GTO strategy.

        If you are playing in micro or small stakes games what exploits should you make against them:

        1) the average of the player pool tends to be loose passive.
        2) The average of the player pool tends to call 3 bets too often and not 4 bet often enough.

        So using that knowledge the proper exploit against this player type:

        A) Your 3 bet value range would tend to be tighter. If their raising range is tighter because they are passive and only raise strong hands, this shrinks your value range.
        B) If they will tend to continue more often than they should, you should bluff less frequently.
        C) if they will tend to call and not 4 bet, your bluffing range should be linear and not polarized.

        In short to exploit this player type, I would actually 3 bet less often than GTO ranges.

        Now there are other considerations. You can 3 bet to isolate a weak raiser who will play fit or fold.
        Last edited by jjpregler; 04-22-2021, 10:18 AM.


        • #5
          Well shit, the HJ at 60BB opens about 28%, ¼ of that is a 7% 3bet; Plot out linear 7% that may be wrong, then plot out a polarized strategy and check it against the implementable 75BB charts and find that though not exactly correct that 3 bet frequency is just right and it’s close enough that I feel I must have learned I thing or two so far.

          If that was not enough evidence that you're right one thing that I have found surprising is the number of nits that I find that seem to be crushing it when I shark scope them, but I suppose bringing a strong range and betting will win against loose passive players.

          So as much as I have a whole argument about getting them to over fold post-flop to justify 3betting 50% of their range, with almost a full GTO linear 3 bet range used as the value portion of the original polarized range I’ll accept that it’s overtly maniacal.

          So, what I need to do to accomplish the goal of 3betting generally well is

          1)Have a good understanding of what 1%-10% of hands look like as both a linear and polarized range.

          2)Against early position take 1/5 of P, 3bet that range

          3)Against late position take ¼ of P, 3bet that range

          4)Under 40BB focused on blockers in 3bet range if polarized

          4)Over 60BB mainly suited playable hand if polarized

          I think that might be an okay place for me to start. A glaring blind spot I have is though I'm sure from the blinds I’m going to want to 3bet a lot more I’m not sure how much. I simply must read Modern Poker Theory or put the cards down. Realistically 14 parts in 28 day is not even a remotely unreasonable thing to accomplish.
          Thanks dude
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Yes, none of my above comment reflects on strategies from the blinds. I have not analyzed the math patterns for those yet.

            In your linear range above, I would remove the pairs 66/77/88 from there. Replace them with hands like ATs/KQ/KJs. Those hands make better bluffs in a linear range because they block some of the bigger hands you do not want to see.

            Also, do not forget, that the players you are looking to exploit most likely do not have a full raising range. For example a studied player from the HJ will about the 28% GTO range. But your population will most likely not have 28% when they open from the HJ. If they are the loose passive player, his raising range may be 1/2 of that.

            An example of a loose passive raise + limp strategy

            If they have a strategy like this, you cannot 3 bet them as if they had a full 28% range. You have to base a 3 bet strategy on what they actually hold and not what they are supposed to hold.

            Or you may have the NIT:

            Against the first range on the button I think I might use:

            I am on the button, so theoretically, I can take liberties with the bluff range, but since his opening range is too tight, I don't want to stray from 1:1. If I were in a little bit worse spot, I might even go down as low as 2:1 value to bluff ratio.

            Last edited by jjpregler; 04-22-2021, 02:27 PM.


            • jjpregler
              jjpregler commented
              Editing a comment
              Do you use a HUD? The VPIP/PFR stats should give you a decent indication to make educated guesses at their preflop strategy.

              At 9 max someone with stats like 25/19 I would not stray too far from the GTO ranges.
              Against a 35/7, their raising range is very tight. I may not even bluff them.
              Against a 35/27, their range is usually wider than GTO.
              Against a 9/6 - just let them have the pot unless you have a premium hand.