Poker strategy to try at home: Three betting light

Keep your stack ticking over with this pre-flop power move

Three-bet light: To put the third bet in with a less than premium hand.

If there’s one phrase that is synonymous with the modern game, it’s three-betting. And if you’re the type of player who runs a mile when faced with technical talk, don’t worry, the fact is you three-bet all the time. Let’s say a player raises pre op and you wake up with Aces. Unless you have a good reason to play it tricky, you’re probably going to reraise. that is a three-bet. it’s the third bet after the big blind (first bet) and the initial raise (second bet). What you’re doing here is three-betting for value because you know you have the best hand and want to squeeze as much money out of your rival as possible. But if you only reraise when you have a good hand, it makes you a pretty easy opponent. so you need to introduce three-betting light to your game, that is, reraising with a non-premium hand. Even if your opponent does call, you have now taken the lead in the pot and are the one in control. if you have position as well, this is a very difficult strategy to beat. But obviously with most players savvy to the power of the three-bet, if you use it in the wrong situation, your opponents will four-bet you, making it very difficult for you to continue in the hand. Here’s our perfect recipe for three-betting light

The set-up

  • Preflop raise by an opponent
  • Loose villain
  • Villain must be capable of folding either pre op or later
  • Heads-up pot
  • Position
  • You should have a typical TAG image
  • Your hand should play well post op, such as suited connectors and small pairs

In action

  • Observe which players have been especially active pre op in position. if their attempt to steal (Ats) percentage is 35% or more, they’re probably a good candidate
  • Identify which players fold to three-bets often, i.e. 75%+
  • Wait for that player to raise and then reraise
  • If he calls and checks, look to put in a standard c-bet


Serial three-bettors are more annoying than a stone in the shoe, so let them know you won’t stand for it with the occasional four-bet

When three just isn’t enough…

Benny Spindler has K-J but that doesn’t stop him seven-bet shoving – We wouldn’t recommend trying this at home!

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