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Old 04-17-2018, 03:42 PM   #1
sixsevenoff
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How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

*THIS DISCUSSION RELATES TO PRE-FLOP; THANK YOU SNOWMAN*

One area of my 1/2 NLHE play that I think I could improve upon is by increasing the amount of 3! I make.

I would say for an average session of 5 hours I only 3! 2-3 times per session, usually with AA-JJ+, or AK. I do sometimes 3! with smaller pairs or with a good ace, or KQ, but I'm almost never 3! as a bluff. I have only 3! as a bluff a few times ever (granted I have much less experience than the majority of posters here), but that was only to exploit someone that had been raising too often/raising small with good hands, big with big hands.

I see the best players I play with 3! about once an hour or slightly more. Is this a good strategy? How do I know when to 3! as a bluff, besides when I'm exploiting someone's obvious strategy? Lastly, I have been told that the best hands to 3! as a bluff are SC, suited aces, and garbage - would you agree? Thank you in advance for your responses!

Last edited by sixsevenoff; 04-17-2018 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:56 PM   #2
snowman
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixsevenoff View Post
One area of my 1/2 NLHE play that I think I could improve upon is by increasing the amount of 3! I make.

I would say for an average session of 5 hours I only 3! 2-3 times per session, usually with AA-JJ+, or AK. I do sometimes 3! with smaller pairs or with a good ace, or KQ, but I'm almost never 3! as a bluff. I have only 3! as a bluff a few times ever (granted I have much less experience than the majority of posters here), but that was only to exploit someone that had been raising too often/raising small with good hands, big with big hands.

I see the best players I play with 3! about once an hour or slightly more. Is this a good strategy? How do I know when to 3! as a bluff, besides when I'm exploiting someone's obvious strategy? Lastly, I have been told that the best hands to 3! as a bluff are SC, suited aces, and garbage - would you agree? Thank you in advance for your responses!
Can we assume you mean Pre flop ?????
position , limpers image of raiser all come into play

example 3 limpers to hi-jack who raises to $8
your on button I would open my 3-bet range here and raise to $35-40
UTG open raises to $12 all fold to me on button, I would need to be really strong to raise here.
my 2 cents
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:03 PM   #3
sixsevenoff
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

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Originally Posted by snowman View Post
Can we assume you mean Pre flop ?????
position , limpers image of raiser all come into play

example 3 limpers to hi-jack who raises to $8
your on button I would open my 3-bet range here and raise to $35-40
UTG open raises to $12 all fold to me on button, I would need to be really strong to raise here.
my 2 cents
Thank you for your input, Snowman. Also, thank you very much for pointing out that I did not specify this being PRE-FLOP; I have added an edit to the beginning of the discussion.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

You do not need 3-bet bluffs at 1/2.

Unless 3-bet bluffing increases your overall winrate (in most cases it doesn't), don't do it. Why are you putting in more money with 7 high, weak aces against calling stations?

If you really want to open up your 3-betting game, then start 3-betting linear hands instead of flatting or folding. E.g. CO open (not a nit), we have KQs/AJs/A10s OTB or SB. 3b here is generally going to be more +EV than flatting. They don't 4b for bluff enough to blow us off our hand, and call way too much. The correct adjustment to this is to 3b wider for value and more linearly, not add trash like 76s/54s. A polarized 3b generally is for those who react a lot by 4b or fold, or fold way too much in general vs 3b (either of these scenarios is extremely rare)
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

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Originally Posted by Minatorr View Post
You do not need 3-bet bluffs at 1/2.

Unless 3-bet bluffing increases your overall winrate (in most cases it doesn't), don't do it. Why are you putting in more money with 7 high, weak aces against calling stations?

If you really want to open up your 3-betting game, then start 3-betting linear hands instead of flatting or folding. E.g. CO open (not a nit), we have KQs/AJs/A10s OTB or SB. 3b here is generally going to be more +EV than flatting. They don't 4b for bluff enough to blow us off our hand, and call way too much. The correct adjustment to this is to 3b wider for value and more linearly, not add trash like 76s/54s. A polarized 3b generally is for those who react a lot by 4b or fold, or fold way too much in general vs 3b (either of these scenarios is extremely rare)
agreed that's what I was pointing at
don't call it bluff's
we are adjusting our 3-bet range based on action to us and read on players
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:26 PM   #6
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

It's good to 3bet bluff but pick your target. Ideally I want someone who is observant enough to see how tight I play and can also fold (first is quite common, second is not), position and a semi-bluff hand preferably a small suited ace.

Generally just do what Minatorr says.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

It depends on the quality of my table. If your opponents are "better" and not just limp-calling or raise-calling every time, then you should incorporate some 3-bet bluffs into your game. If you have no fold equity, and four $2 limpers will all call a $15-20 raise, then no, you do not bluff. In fact, go higher ($30) with your value hands and expect to get action.

With competent opponents, it is difficult to get paid with your AA-JJ/AQ+ hands, when you're not also raising with bluffs. I was a in a 1/2 game just the other day where there was only one 3-bet from other opponents for four hours, and certainly no 4-betting. I 3-bet with QQ and got 4-bet, and insta-folded (of course, he proudly showed AA). I was not incredibly deep. This is a more difficult decision for me in a game where people are playing more balanced pre-flop.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:40 PM   #8
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

eh I 3-bet bluff at 1/2-1/3 in tight ish games where 1-2 people are opening a lot of hands. I do it in pots with where I'm raising in late position over someone with a strong raising frequency, usually with a blocker. I'm not raising in games where 3 bets are getting called like crazy, nor am I raising over a suicidal amount of people. And I'm usually saving it for situations where I haven't 3 bet at all in the first couple hours in a game and the decent players at the table know this.

E.g. a hand like the following:

- 1 limp in EP from someone who limp folds a lot
- A 4 bb from MP from someone who is opening 15% of the time from that position and who has a bet sizing tell
- One caller in the HJ who is calling raises left and right but who plays fit or fold
- I look down at A5dd. I look at SB and BB and they look ready to fold. I raise to 17 bb. I take this pot down a lot of the time. Even if I get called, there's a non-zero chance I can win with a c bet against certain villains (but others I'd shut it down against)

It's not something you need, and it's certainly something I wouldn't do more than once a session unless the table is super exploitable.

I have no 3 bet bluff range in games where people are calling stuff like crazy preflop, nor does this play exist if I'm in the blinds, early position, or middle position. Nor do I have such a range when the effective stack of the original raiser and me are low - they need to be terrified that I'm going to stuff 100+ bb in the pot before they see a river
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #9
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

If I'm to 3bet as a bluff, it's usually very player specific and scenario specific. The game isn't very actiony and i prefer it to be a squeeze with one weaker player raising and another calling. Being in position helps a lot too.

I'm usually hesitant to start 3betting without a good holding or a good read. Too many times I've been at a 1/3 table and despite what could be a limp fest the previous hand suddenly one guy gets stubborn and calls your 3bet and it starts a cascade of callers. Part of the reason it is profitable to 3bet with good hands.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:13 PM   #10
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

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Originally Posted by NebDanger View Post
If I'm to 3bet as a bluff, it's usually very player specific and scenario specific. The game isn't very actiony and i prefer it to be a squeeze with one weaker player raising and another calling. Being in position helps a lot too.
I'm always cautious about 3! squeeze spots because what seems to happen to a lot of 3-bets is the opener folds but then the flatter flats the 3! as well. I'm guessing their thought process is if they were strong enough to call a raise they can call a 3-bet.

I tend to 3-bet bluff laggier players who I see getting out of line trying to raise limpers. If after a few orbits I see someone doing too much of this, I'll 3-bet bluff anytime I see a good spot & hand to do it with. But since the average 1-2NL player is not raising light enough or folding often enough to make 3-bet bluffing profitable, I save it for when I have a read that backs the play.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:16 PM   #11
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

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Originally Posted by Koss View Post
I tend to 3-bet bluff laggier players who I see getting out of line trying to raise limpers. If after a few orbits I see someone doing too much of this, I'll 3-bet bluff anytime I see a good spot & hand to do it with. But since the average 1-2NL player is not raising light enough or folding often enough to make 3-bet bluffing profitable, I save it for when I have a read that backs the play.
+1

OP, fundamentals: what makes a 3bet bluff successful? when people fold (ideally), or flat and are not sticky post. most low-limit players have small fold to 3bet ranges and are sticky post. consequently, 3bet bluffs at low limits should be reserved for specific scenarios that don't come up often.

at 1/2 i would do it:
- from time to time to the right opener in position if I have been card dead and haven't 3bet in a long time (hours)
- in excellent squeeze opportunities
- in very specific scenarios (e.g. someone raising wide pre that isn't a good post-flop player). again, mostly in position.

as you move up in stakes you can start opening up your 3b bluffs more. ultimately mostly the same factors apply no matter the stakes, but the necessary circumstances will arise more often in higher stakes games. some new factors come in like exploitability which is a non-factor at 1/2.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:14 AM   #12
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

I probably don't do it as much as I should, but I will mix in some 3! bluffs from time to time. Like everything else, it's table dependent.

If I've been card dead for a considerable stretch and I look like a nit to the rest of the table, I'll sometimes try to leverage my image and put in a 3! bluff IP if a situation arises where there's enough dead money in the pot to make it worth while.

The other main spot I'll try to 3! bluff is if I'm at a table where one or more players have serious sizing tells as it relates to the size of their open. Sometimes you're at a table with a lot of PF raises, but it becomes obvious that their $8 opens aren't indicative of a strong hand like their $12-$15 opens. A dynamic can form where the table views these small opens as a pot sweetener and they'll get a cascade of callers with equally mediocre hands. This is a green light to me to squeeze, but I still try to be IP and hopefully with relevant blockers. Just remember that if you're going to 3! bluff over multiple callers, error on the large side with your sizing. The worst outcome is when you size too small and one call entices the rest of the table to call as well. Then your left in a bloated multi-way pot with a garbage hand. All in all though, I don't do it a ton, and there's usually specific scenarios I'm looking for at a table to motivate me to do so.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:08 AM   #13
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

My quick rules for 3 betting light are:

1. The villain has to be raising light. Raising light is like raising 20% or more of their hands. Almost nobody does that.

2. The villain has to have shown they can fold to a raise. Pf, that's rare too.

3. Be in position.

4. You don't just randomly pick hands to 3 bet. You pick the top of your folding range to 3 bet light. Don't cost yourself money by taking a profitable hand that you could call with and bluff with it.

So, let's say there is a table captain who is in LP and raising any time there isn't a raise in front of him. The effective stacks are 100 BB and he raises 5 BB. I'd look at 3 betting hands like 87s, which I'm not going to get IO to play, but I'm going to have a good chance of having decent equity on a flop to continue if called. I'm not playing all SCs because they will overwhelm the "value" portion of my 3bet range.

If you 3 bet bluff 1/hr, you're doing it too often. The villain is going to figure it out and start 4 betting you.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:49 AM   #14
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

I 3 bet lite for 3 reasons

1) To win money
2) To slow down a guy who is raising so much that I cant play my game
3) To get more action on my real hands

1) To make money you need to be very selective because when you get called you WILL lose money in the long term. You will have a serious card disadvantage and IMO nobody plays well enough to overcome a serious card disadvantage in a 3 bet pot. However, if you are selective enough, you will take it down preflop often enough that the money you steal will be more than you lose when called making the play profitable overall....IF you do it at the right times against the right people.

2) If someone 1-3 to your right is raising constantly and you have to fold tons of hands that you would normally open raise, he will be costing you money. Hes a great candidate to 3 bet lite.

3) If you 3 bet lite you will be 3 betting more than most other people and you will get more action on your premium hands which obviously makes more money on premiums. If you add this to the money you are hopefully making on the lite 3 bet hands, its an overall good play to add to your game.

If you overdo this it will be a disaster. Once an hour is seriously overdoing it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:11 PM   #15
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

About this "once an hour too much" advice.
If you have V pegged at o/r UTG+3 with top 22% of hands & you 3! with a hand near the bottom of the same range & take it down; then 2 orbits later V o/r [or raises 1 limper] & you wake up with a hand in the top 17%; that's not 3! lite, correct?

Also, how much do we 3! lite? If it's 1/3NL & nobody has come in, other than 1 limper & V raises for $18, what size do you make your lite 3!? The casino has no flop/no drop rule; if it goes to flop, they take 10% up to $5 & $1 for BBJ at $10 & $30.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:44 PM   #16
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Re: How often should we be using 3! bluffs?

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Originally Posted by K9Mama View Post
About this "once an hour too much" advice.
If you have V pegged at o/r UTG+3 with top 22% of hands & you 3! with a hand near the bottom of the same range & take it down; then 2 orbits later V o/r [or raises 1 limper] & you wake up with a hand in the top 17%; that's not 3! lite, correct?

Also, how much do we 3! lite? If it's 1/3NL & nobody has come in, other than 1 limper & V raises for $18, what size do you make your lite 3!? The casino has no flop/no drop rule; if it goes to flop, they take 10% up to $5 & $1 for BBJ at $10 & $30.
these questions are so broad relative to the answers

1. "You wake up with a top 17% hand" - 3 betting with AA isn't three betting light. 3 betting with KJ is. 3 betting with 77 is. What do you have and what does that mean vs. their range? Also, you're going to start getting called more often on 3 bets if you do them all the time, which is a reason to not push your luck with marginal hands unless you're deep enough to crush them on the flop

2. How much is game dependent. In general, we 3 bet just enough to get folds but not $1 more than we need to since we're getting money in bad when we get called
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