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Old 06-09-2017, 10:59 AM   #1
Donovan
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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3 bet range vs 3x opens

Min raises are the norm in my metagame. It's very unusual to see the button open for other than 2x on ignition. I'm very used to flatting a lot vs that size and 3 betting a linear range because I'm going to be called so often.
When I see a player opening for 3x it throws me off a bit.
I remember that 3 betting used to be gold and then people started opening smaller and calling more 3 bets. That makes me want to start 3 betting more vs a 3x open. But I don't know where to get these extra hands from. I used to 3 bet polar vs 3x opens back in the day but I'm pretty sure it's better to save that for playing in position or to use a polarized range once you know your opponent will be playing very 4 bet or fold.
If we don't have reads one way or the other, we only know villain likes to 3x open his button;
1) is it correct to 3 bet more
And
2) should I expand my linear range or should I bring in some bluffs from the hands I would have flatted vs a minraise but now I don't quite want to call given the open size? Maybe something like 63s, J2s, K5o, and 75o?

That's what I've been doing, sticking w my typical linear value heavy 3 betting range and bringing in a few hands that i might use for light 3 bets in a polarized range. So I'm betting a depolarized range w just a few light bluff hands w some blocker and/or post flop playability and board coverage.

Once I see how villain responds to 3 bets I can go full linear or totally polar.

But I'm not at all sure this is the right idea (especially the hands I'm bringing in and also the idea of adding some bluffs to an otherwise linear range?
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:47 AM   #2
JudgeHoldem1848
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Re: 3 bet range vs 3x opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
Min raises are the norm in my metagame. It's very unusual to see the button open for other than 2x on ignition. I'm very used to flatting a lot vs that size and 3 betting a linear range because I'm going to be called so often.
This linear range you're calling is probably pretty bad if it includes stuff like JTo and KTo for no reason. A good default is a polarized 3-betting range because it gives you bluffing options and keeps your value hands clearly for value. Bluffs, especially high implied odds semi bluffs, will perform well (be higher or the same EV when played as 3 bets vs flatting) vs the population as a default. In NLHE, it's almost always better to start building pots with premium hands. Preflop, this effect will be very small, even for hands like AQo, but it will still be perceptible. It will be clearly better to 3 bet hands like TT-AA. For hands like KTo, it is probably better to flat as a default. I say probably only because I'm not 100% sure. I'm about 99% sure though. Beyond that, when to vary 3 betting ranges and how gets complicated.

Just remember, polarized 15-20% is a good default. Value should be clear value, no middling hands that will likely play better as flats, at least not without a clear reason.

Quote:
When I see a player opening for 3x it throws me off a bit.
I remember that 3 betting used to be gold and then people started opening smaller and calling more 3 bets. That makes me want to start 3 betting more vs a 3x open.
Why would you want to 3 bet more frequently vs 3x if they're calling more*? Or you mean they were calling more when 2xing as a result of responding to the increased 3 betting when they were 3xing? If they're calling you significantly more when you 3x, you would want to 3 bet less frequently, much less frequently. Or did you mean more, as in a larger sizing?

Quote:
But I don't know where to get these extra hands from. I used to 3 bet polar vs 3x opens back in the day but I'm pretty sure it's better to save that for playing in position or to use a polarized range once you know your opponent will be playing very 4 bet or fold.
Yes, part of the idea of polarized 3 betting is to have bluffs, but the population slightly overfolds their opens vs 3 bets, so its a good default. Also, keep in mind that vs population 4 betting ranges, which tend to be heavily weighted towards value, hands as strong as T9s probably are going to be folds, in terms of pure EV. This makes your more polarized hands very easy to play well vs. 4 bets, just fold, further adding to their value.

Quote:
If we don't have reads one way or the other, we only know villain likes to 3x open his button;
1) is it correct to 3 bet more
And
2) should I expand my linear range or should I bring in some bluffs from the hands I would have flatted vs a minraise but now I don't quite want to call given the open size? Maybe something like 63s, J2s, K5o, and 75o?
1)No.**

2)All of the hands you just mentioned, to a lesser extent 63s, are terrible 3 betting defaults. In fact I would never 3 bet k5o vs anyone and would only bring in a hand like 75o (at 50% weight) vs people who are severely overfolding and show no sign of adjusting to 30%+ 3 betting frequencies. If you're 3 betting J2s, K5o and 75o, or any of those hands individually, and you don't have a means of strictly controlling your 3 bet frequency, you'll be 3 betting 40%+, maybe 80%+ when including K5o. Some fish will react poorly to that. But at those frequencies, most regs and many fish will start calling more and at a minimum, start exasperation 4-betting you, quickly suturing one of the more lucrative leaks.

The question then becomes, how do I subtly exploit a subtle leak? That's trickier said than done in game and requires a fair amount of homework. What you don't do is start 3 betting some reg 90% because he's folding to your pf pops 55% of the time.

Quote:
That's what I've been doing, sticking w my typical linear value heavy 3 betting range and bringing in a few hands that i might use for light 3 bets in a polarized range. So I'm betting a depolarized range w just a few light bluff hands w some blocker and/or post flop playability and board coverage.

Once I see how villain responds to 3 bets I can go full linear or totally polar.

But I'm not at all sure this is the right idea (especially the hands I'm bringing in and also the idea of adding some bluffs to an otherwise linear range?
To give you some kind of framework, here's what a value bet is OOP PF vs someone who 4 bets 10% (the population): any hand with > ≈ 55% equity vs villain's not folding range. Does that mean that it's better to 3 bet every hand that meets the minimum requirements for value? No. Hands like KTo will play fine as 3 bets, but they make even more money as flats.

Note that if villain never 4 bets the definition of a value bet would change to >=50% equity vs his not folding range. Also, note that the equity of a hand like KTo pf can be significantly affected by villain's opening range as well as his calling range. But the biggest factor that can consistently push marginal value hands into becoming higher EV when played as 3 bets than flats is if villain never 4 bets. Keep in mind, a 4 bet stat of zero probably won't have even marginal significance until at least 1,000 hands into the match, that's if you 3 bet 20%.




*Proportional to your 3 betting size

**3xing as a binary 3x open/open fold IP opening strategy is bad for a number of reasons, mostly because it would only allow the opener to safely open around 40-50% of hands vs someone defending near optimally. Another reason is that it magnifies errors, the gravest of which is overfolding, where, at any given rate of overfolding, it is significantly worse to be 3xing than 2xing vs a perceptive opponent who is able to exploit overfolding.
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