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Old 12-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #1
Profish2285
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3b theory

I have seen a wide range of opinions on 3 betting pf and I think it is a major leak in most of our games here at uNL. Im by no means an expert on concept but I will give my general feelings and would love to hear what everyone else thinks. I am going to debate the idea of 3 betting a wide range vs 3 betting a polarized range. In case people dont know what a polarized range is, it means basically nuts or air. I 3 bet a polarized range almost exclusively, with my range being JJ+ and AQ+ as far as the nuts part and suited/off suit connectors and suited gaps for the air part. Sometimes I 3b TT but it really depends on villain.

I see alot of advice saying to 3b hands like AJ/KQ, even JT sometimes. These are dominated broadways and I think to 3b them is terrible. I also hold the same feeling for 99 and down. I used to 3b all of those hands but the problem I have run into is that when you hit top pair with those big card hands and the chips go in the middle, youre probably behind. No one really explains why they 3b these hands, they just say its right. I honestly am unsure what the perks of 3 betting a wide range is as opposed to polarizing. I think playing against someone with a polarized 3b range is much more difficult than against someone who just 3 bets all the time. I think of it this way, if I only 3b with nuts or air, then the person who calls/shoves on me is taking more or less a 50/50 risk. Half the time I have garbage and fold and half the time I have a real hand and stack them. But if I was to 3b a much wider range, then 4 betting me or floating me is much more profitable. That is because percentage wise, my weak-medium strength hands greatly outnumber my huge hands.

This of course is one of the perks of 3 betting a polarized range as well. It is just so less likely that your hand is dominated that when the chips go in the middle, you can be a whole lot more confident in general. If I 3b AQ and get action when I hit an ace, I only have to worry about AK as far as being outkicked. However, if I 3b AJ, then obviously I am behind two other top pair hands. This gets more and more significant the lighter you 3b, but I think the difference is pretty big even with just AJ. When I 3b 67o and get called, Im not worried about being dominated because its a very easy hand to play. I c bet alot of flops regardless of whether I hit or not and then give up depending on whether I hit or not.

I guess what it comes down to is whether gaining the initiative outweighs all the negative that can happen by 3 betting dominated hands. I honestly dont know the answer to that question. From my personal experience, I find myself getting into more trouble than good by 3 betting a wide range though.

Those are my basic ideas behind this whole 3 betting thing and would love to hear input from others.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:08 PM   #2
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Re: 3b theory

I tend to 3b as standard TT+ AQ AK, but obviously this depends so much on position, who the original raiser is, game flow, my image etc etc etc. I agree that hands like AJ KQ JT etc are awful for 3 betting as we put ourselves in a position where we either win the pot on the flop or we are playing for stacks with marginal holdings ie RIO situation.

One thing I do love is to cbet 18/15 TAGs with SCs and SC1Gs in position, especially when 200bb deep, as you say its usually fairly easy to play post flop and when they hold AK on an A 6 8 board and i hold 86s they cant put me on this hand, if we did the same with AQ we are in big trouble.


This is a great link to an article where Samoleus is saying very similar to your view...

http://archives1.twoplustwo.com/show...t=1&PHPSESSID=

Also 3 betting is really an opponent dependant thing, at a 6max table i will have (after a few hundo hands) different 3b ranges for each opponent, and if ive been folding preflop for 20mins straight ill 3bet a TAG or LAG with 97s but ill call vs a 50/25 fish cos im getting enourmous implied odds to call when 100bb deep.

Also if im in the SB and theres a 28/25 good LAG on the button ill reraise or fold (as long as the BB isnt a retard) typically id rr 22+ AJs+ KQ & SC's occasionally.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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Re: 3b theory

I think that the worse my opponent, the less polarized my range is and the more 3betting hands like KQ and AJ for value seems like a really good idea. Tpgk is usually the nuts in 3bet pots vs players like this. Vs a tighter player this is obv suicide.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: 3b theory

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I think that the worse my opponent, the less polarized my range is and the more 3betting hands like KQ and AJ for value seems like a really good idea. Tpgk is usually the nuts in 3bet pots vs players like this. Vs a tighter player this is obv suicide.
This is also true which is why I would start to 3b hands like 99 or AJ against the loosest opponents, but I think I need to see 35/25 at least before I start doing that.

Tanky, I have read that link a while ago but the problem is that it advocates both sides. It leaves me back where I am at the beginning. What it all boils down to is the question, "Does initiative make up for the other downfalls of 3 betting dominated overs?" In that article there are some good points for 3 betting a wide range though. The part that really hit me was the showdown value part. While 3 betting KQ or QJ may seem meh, it has a higher showdown value than 56 obviously. I just dont think that we see showdown nearly often enough however without our chips being in the middle.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:49 PM   #5
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Re: 3b theory

KQ is a damn good 3bet because most people 4bet AK. Your only worried about AQ here. Start 3 betting this hand, its not marginal.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:10 PM   #6
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Re: 3b theory

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KQ is a damn good 3bet because most people 4bet AK. Your only worried about AQ here. Start 3 betting this hand, its not marginal.
This is wrong imo. KQ is a dominated holding which is why so many books advocate playing it cautiously. Also, many people do not 4b AK so I think that argument is not valid as well.

Oh waingro, I just gave what you said a little more thought as far as 3 betting wide against tight players. I think that again falls into the question of initiative. While we arent ahead of a tight player's calling range, he will have to fold to c-bets a decent amount of the time. I just go back and forth between both sides, both sides have their arguments, but I have had such negative results with 3 betting dominated holdings.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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Re: 3b theory

one thing that has helped me alot is using MikeChops hud that shows 3 bet % and fold to 3 bet %. I see so many post were people say "zomg he's 35/25 AJ is way ahead of his range 3 bet that ****!!!11" but some 35/25's fold everything but 1010+, AQ+ to a 3 bet so obv 3 betting is terrible.

nice post, alot of ppl have some serious leaks when it comes to 3 betting
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: 3b theory

Depends on the villain.

Against fish, JJ+, AK, AQs are good 3-betting ranges - You have no idea how many fish at NL10 stack off preflop against me for 100bb with A10s, 1010, etc. 3-betting light against fish is horribly bad.

Against the solid players at the level, who have a wide raising range, obv 3-bet a wider range, including sc, etc. So it obv depends.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: 3b theory

AZ, I have to get that stat at some point, would make my life easier. I threw the number of 35/25 out there, but in truth, Im not really comfortable 3 betting AJ against anyone really. Im sure there are some 50/40's who fold to 3 bets a decent amount.

Back to what I was saying about dominated hands, I saw a post last week I think where people were saying how light they 3b on the button vs a CO open. In that example people were advocating JT as a 3b hand, but again, I think this is terrible. I do agree that position will help you play your hand, so then why not just call? I think that with dominated hands in position I would rather take a flop and make moves on the right boards depending on their texture. Of course the problem is when we are oop. Im beginning to think that just folding AT,AJ, KQ and hands like that from the blinds is correct. Calling oop sucks because its so hard to float so youre pretty much looking to c/r a ton. 3 betting sucks imo for the reasons I stated, so I guess folding is probably best.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: 3b theory

Against TAGs my 3bet range opens up significantly. I'll still 3bet fish but with a tighter range. It all depends on what the table's like, my position, fish's position, my table image, fish's table image, etc. I make sure to 3bet consistently reminding villains to behave, but not too often as to make sure I don't lose respect from everyone at the table. I think when people say you should never 3bet fish or just play TAG poker at uNL they're thinking in a vacuum. Yes its correct you'll get called often preflop by fish, but once they miss their hand on the flop its so easy to cbet the pot from them. I've logged ~59k hands of this and have found myself fortunate enough to make the move from 5NL to 25NL, almost to 50NL in just 2 months.

The key is being aware post flop. We 3bet not necessarily because we hold a good hand, although this definitely helps, but more specifically because it puts us in the driver seat for future action. Unless villain has AA/KK/QQ, we're going to have a very good chance at taking down the pot on the flop if we haven't already snatched it preflop.

Even when we 3bet a dominated hand like AJ against a villain with AK, both our hands are going to miss the majority of the time. If we have position (3betting w/o position sucks unless you have AA/KK) then villain will check and we'll take it down on the flop. On the off chance villain calls us on a dry flop, I'll double barrel to a scare card on the turn, has to be an over card without completing any draws. If we don't win the hand on the turn then we're done and its c/f unless we improve.

Same goes for if we 3bet light against a villain with a pp. We can generally take it down with a cbet on the flop or a double barrel assuming there are enough dry non draw combo boards out there (obviously has to be an over card or 2 against a pocket pair as well). NEVER double barrel on a wet board and I rarely double barrel on monotone boards.

This is not to make it sound like I 3bet and double barrel every hand with air, rather I mean if you pick your 3bet spots carefully you can exploit villains who aren't paying much attention to anything but their holdings in conjunction with whether their hand fits the board or not. I still have a range of 3betting hands which I follow, but its also beneficial to open up that range some of the time. Many players play fit or fold poker, whatever you wanna call it, and makes for easy pot stealing. The great thing about this is that when you do have a monster people will be more inclined to pay you off light. Its funny cause I was watching the WPT last night and Sexton was advising viewers to simply play this "fit or fold" strategy and not get cute. Thanks Mike!

Hope this is of some use...sorry about the length.

Last edited by OSUGreg1983; 12-20-2007 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:26 PM   #11
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Re: 3b theory

OSUgreg - nice analysis, but surely the argument for taking the initiative works with any two cards, because the value you're getting is from the betting line, not the cards you hold.

My feeling is that if i hold, say AJ, or KQ, which I can play +EV with in position by calling, i'm happy calling. OTOH, a trash hand (which is -EV to call) is great to reraise, because i get the +EV spot from betting and cbetting the flop plus I am much less likely to end up in the rare trap situations.

I RR AK,JJ+, probably 50% of AQ, a lot of trash hands when i feel the timing is right, plus a wider range to isolate fish etc.

Knowing what range to call a 3bet with is also a tricky question
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:31 PM   #12
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Re: 3b theory

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Originally Posted by thizzSantaCruz View Post
KQ is a damn good 3bet because most people 4bet AK. Your only worried about AQ here. Start 3 betting this hand, its not marginal.

also, i completely disagree with this.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:37 PM   #13
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Re: 3b theory

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but surely the argument for taking the initiative works with any two cards, because the value you're getting is from the betting line, not the cards you hold.
Agreed.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:40 PM   #14
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Re: 3b theory

That the value is in the betting line is, I believe, the reasoning that underlies having a polarized 3-betting range. You 3-bet enough hands so that they can't automatically fold assuming you have a very tight range (or correctly set-mine), gain value on mediocre hands by abusing position (compared to the value they would have from just calling, or folding), but you avoid 3-betting hands that can get into very difficult spots with domination post-flop.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: 3b theory

people tend to waste perfectly good calling hands on 3bets, because they're not good enough post flop to do anything but set mine without the lead. in any given scenario, there is usually part of your range that is profitable to make a call with, but not strong enough to raise for value. what gets people in trouble is that they raise with strong hands that are only being called by better hands, essentially bluffing in that scenario. you can 3bet every bit as often without doing this.

for instance, lets say a situation pops up that i think is a very profitable one for 3betting, so profitable in fact that i want to 3bet 30% of the time. well, i'm not going to do it with the strongest 30% of my range and fold the rest. i'm going to do it with the top 5% (or whatever) of my range that i can raise for value, call with the next best 10% (or whatever) that i can profitably call with, and raise with the next 25% after that. now i'm still getting all the folds pf that i would anyway, but i'm also getting in profitable calls as well. i'm not going to 3bet a hand that is profitable to call with against a certain opponent, but which is smoked by said opponent's calling range, and then bet/fold on a reasonably favorable flop. that's the kind of retardation you see over and over and over from people with hands like JJ/TT/AQ vs. opponents with tight calling ranges, and there's really not much reason for it.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:01 PM   #16
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Re: 3b theory

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Originally Posted by DaycareInferno View Post
people tend to waste perfectly good calling hands on 3bets, because they're not good enough post flop to do anything but set mine without the lead. in any given scenario, there is usually part of your range that is profitable to make a call with, but not strong enough to raise for value. what gets people in trouble is that they raise with strong hands that are only being called by better hands, essentially bluffing in that scenario. you can 3bet every bit as often without doing this.

for instance, lets say a situation pops up that i think is a very profitable one for 3betting, so profitable in fact that i want to 3bet 30% of the time. well, i'm not going to do it with the strongest 30% of my range and fold the rest. i'm going to do it with the top 5% (or whatever) of my range that i can raise for value, call with the next best 10% (or whatever) that i can profitably call with, and raise with the next 25% after that. now i'm still getting all the folds pf that i would anyway, but i'm also getting in profitable calls as well. i'm not going to 3bet a hand that is profitable to call with against a certain opponent, but which is smoked by said opponent's calling range, and then bet/fold on a reasonably favorable flop. that's the kind of retardation you see over and over and over from people with hands like JJ/TT/AQ vs. opponents with tight calling ranges, and there's really not much reason for it.
good post! I would also say thats its pretty prof to 3 bet players that will call a 3bet with any PP trying to hit a set but will give up most of the time they miss which is pretty common at the micros.

but like the above post says you cant really 3 bet hands like TT and AQ for value if your never getting called by a worse hand.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:05 PM   #17
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Re: 3b theory

From what others have said so far, this is why I polarize my range and I feel dominated hands and mid pockets are the hands that we should be trying to see flops, not building huge pots oop.

I also agree 100% with kokiri about the atc thing. I think putting so much weight into initiative isnt enough of a justification and using it as one means we could and should be doing this with any two cards depending on the situation. Dont get me wrong, there are times where I have 3b JT and I was absolutely sure it was a profitable move, but Im talking more about the general situations. Reads obviously change all of this.

Daycare, I think you hit the nail on the head and what I have been trying to get at. I think 3 betting dominated hands kills their value and gets us in huge trouble. What I think alot of people miss is that even though AJ or KQ may be ahead of the late positions opening range doesnt mean it is ahead of his 3b calling range. Now I understand that there will be a number of times where we bet and they fold on the flop which is good for us. That allows us to open up our 3 bets a little bit more, which is another reason why I add the air part of my 3 bet range. But I dont think they fold often enough to make up for someone who is 3 betting a huge range.

Quote:
that's the kind of retardation you see over and over and over from people with hands like JJ/TT/AQ vs. opponents with tight calling ranges, and there's really not much reason for it.
Its funny that you mention those hands because those are the 3 hands that I think we really need to evaluate before auto 3 betting. While JJ and AQ are obviously in my 3 bet range, it really depends. I almost never 3b AQ vs a utg open, I just dont see the point unless I have reads/stats that tell me otherwise. Along with this, if a 14/12 is opening on the button, while he might open light, there is still no point in 3 betting AQ and TT. There is no way we are ahead of his calling range unless we believe he is making moves in position.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:05 PM   #18
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Re: 3b theory

I agee with profish and I remember week ago when someone made a thread that what hands would people 3bet and I got into huge argument against 90% posters who were advocating 3betting everything, aj and JTs.
I'd just add that 3betting small pocket pairs oop is fine too since they don't play that well oop.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:11 PM   #19
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Re: 3b theory

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This is wrong imo. KQ is a dominated holding which is why so many books advocate playing it cautiously. Also, many people do not 4b AK so I think that argument is not valid as well.

Oh waingro, I just gave what you said a little more thought as far as 3 betting wide against tight players. I think that again falls into the question of initiative. While we arent ahead of a tight player's calling range, he will have to fold to c-bets a decent amount of the time. I just go back and forth between both sides, both sides have their arguments, but I have had such negative results with 3 betting dominated holdings.
this is wrong.

If a tight player calls our 3bets, he isnt folding all that often. 3betting a tight player light is asking to get a foot up your ass.

3betting is best done in position vs a 26/22/4 type guy whos MP and CO range are pretty wide and who will be folding a ton preflop
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:11 PM   #20
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Re: 3b theory

well, here is the way that i would approach it if i were you guys, and still trying to decide what to raise with when:

make a chart that consists of different zones of profitability for a pf 3bet. obviously a lot of situations come up where it is profitable to 3bet atc at a reasonably high frequency. for each zone, assign a frequency. you can't just 3bet every single time that a certain scenario comes up, but 3betting something like 35% of the time in an ultra-profitable situation is pretty reasonable i think. now pick which hands you want to 3bet with for value, which hands you want call with and make a profit by doing so, and which hands you want to 3bet as a semi-bluff. do this for 10 or so different zones, ranging down to scenarios where you have almost 0 fe, and each time action is on you pf, classify your situation into a zone and act accordingly. use the chart for a couple of days, and pow, you'll have it down and you won't need it anymore.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:15 PM   #21
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Re: 3b theory

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Originally Posted by Profish2285 View Post
From what others have said so far, this is why I polarize my range and I feel dominated hands and mid pockets are the hands that we should be trying to see flops, not building huge pots oop.

I also agree 100% with kokiri about the atc thing. I think putting so much weight into initiative isnt enough of a justification and using it as one means we could and should be doing this with any two cards depending on the situation. Dont get me wrong, there are times where I have 3b JT and I was absolutely sure it was a profitable move, but Im talking more about the general situations. Reads obviously change all of this.

Daycare, I think you hit the nail on the head and what I have been trying to get at. I think 3 betting dominated hands kills their value and gets us in huge trouble. What I think alot of people miss is that even though AJ or KQ may be ahead of the late positions opening range doesnt mean it is ahead of his 3b calling range. Now I understand that there will be a number of times where we bet and they fold on the flop which is good for us. That allows us to open up our 3 bets a little bit more, which is another reason why I add the air part of my 3 bet range. But I dont think they fold often enough to make up for someone who is 3 betting a huge range.



Its funny that you mention those hands because those are the 3 hands that I think we really need to evaluate before auto 3 betting. While JJ and AQ are obviously in my 3 bet range, it really depends. I almost never 3b AQ vs a utg open, I just dont see the point unless I have reads/stats that tell me otherwise. Along with this, if a 14/12 is opening on the button, while he might open light, there is still no point in 3 betting AQ and TT. There is no way we are ahead of his calling range unless we believe he is making moves in position.
i 3bet with those hand a lot, also, but i try to think about post flop when i do it. normally i 3bet them in situations where i'm willing to get all of my money in post-flop on a reasonably favorable flop, for instance, if i make an overpair with a JJ, or pair my A with an AQ. against really agressive or really bad opponents, that's great. my main thing is that if you wanna 3bet with hands in that strong, but not super strong range, you should really be willing to run with it post-flop, or else you're just lighting money on fire most of the time.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:17 PM   #22
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Re: 3b theory

Quote:
3betting is best done in position vs a 26/22/4 type guy whos MP and CO range are pretty wide and who will be folding a ton preflop
While I do agree with this, there has to be merit to 3 betting light against tags. When I 3b 89s against a 17/15 its not so that I hope I can win with a cbet, but that I am hoping he will fold pf. Many tight players open wide ranges in lp. Im not going to 3b a 17/15 with an att to steal of 20, but if his att to steal is like 27 or higher then I will.

Quote:
my main thing is that if you wanna 3bet with hands in that strong, but not super strong range, you should really be willing to run with it post-flop, or else you're just lighting money on fire most of the time.
Yea this is something I realized fairly recently. It almost feels wrong stacking off with tpgk but in a 3b pot everything changes. I cant even count how many times I think to myself "what could they possibly call with that I beat?" but then they show me mid pair or some ****. This again shows why I hate 3 betting dominated hands though. I dont want to get my chips in the middle with AJ in most situations but if I 3b it and hit an ace then I have to.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:57 PM   #23
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Re: 3b theory

This theory is good agaisnt opponents that cant/wont pick up on the fact that your ragne is polarized (which is uNL), but you're discounting the ATC theory, meaning some situations are great to 3bet (for example a LAG opens in LP and you have AJ or something), or say you want to go after someone who is weak and gives up on the flop/preflop alot, you can just go after him with j10s or w/e
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:00 PM   #24
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Re: 3b theory

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Originally Posted by fees View Post
This theory is good agaisnt opponents that cant/wont pick up on the fact that your ragne is polarized (which is uNL), but you're discounting the ATC theory, meaning some situations are great to 3bet (for example a LAG opens in LP and you have AJ or something), or say you want to go after someone who is weak and gives up on the flop/preflop alot, you can just go after him with j10s or w/e
I think youre missing the point here. I dont mind if he realizes I polarize my range, that makes me significantly harder to play against.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:03 PM   #25
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Re: 3b theory

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I think youre missing the point here. I dont mind if he realizes I polarize my range, that makes me significantly harder to play against.
So you would rather 3b a uNL lag with 65s rather than AJo? Also no one at uNL knows what polarizing a range is so they definitely aren't picking up on you doing it.
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