Utilizing 3bets as part of a preflop strategy is an important part of creating an advanced poker style. A player that 3bets is more difficult to play for a few reasons: Players that raise preflop are unsure if a player is going to 3bet them, which makes it more difficult to raise with a weaker holding. A 3bet can be profitable just from its ability to get opponents to fold their raised hands without a fight. This in turn makes it easier for the player 3betting to narrow his opponents hand range (since the opponent will fold weaker hands at least some of the time). A player with a high 3bet frequency will get less credit for his hand strength when he 3bets, which when combined with the inflated size of a 3bet pot makes getting paid off with monster hands much easier when compared to a player that rarely or never 3bets.

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It is important to balance 3bet frequency so that opponents are not able to exploit it easily. A player that rarely or never 3bets will typically get credit for a big hand such as AA, KK, or AK. These players will either not get paid off or suffer a bad beat versus an opponent that recognizes the potentially large pot and plays a speculative hand that hits.

Players must be cautious about 3betting too frequently as well. Smart opponents can easily exploit a player that 3bets too often simply by only raise/calling with monster hands or by 4betting (raising a 3bet) strategically. A player that is 3betting with a high frequency will rarely have a hand that can call a 4bet, so he will be forced to either let the 4bettor exploit them, or try to get lucky with a risky 5bet.

Knowing exactly where the right 3bet frequency lies is different for every player and at every table. Understanding these dynamics and how to adjust to them is essential for any player trying to take his game to the next level. Using software tools to monitor this parameter can make your life easier. Magic Holdem Poker Coach is one software that can help you develop your 3bet poker strategy.

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