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Old May 16, 2008, 10:00am   #1
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Default 3-betting light

Hi guys , i got a few questions to 3betting light preflop.
Lately i read a few articles about 3betting light pre and that it is massive +EV, and therefore you have to open up your range.

I think my 3betting range is very tight, so probably its WAY too tight.
I wanna improve my play , so I gotta open up my range but I don´t wanna get crazy and 3bet all the time and be a maniac....

I play NL20 and NL25 , 6max.
I think with no specific reads on the villian i would only 3bet with JJ+,AK , sometimes with TT.And I would fold TT,JJ to a 4bet.

So, should I also 3bet with hands like AQ/AJ , KQ maybe KJ and with 88+ or with any PP?
What are your 3bet ranges?
Does it also depend on the stakes some1 plays. Like player at higher stakes give you more/less credit for a good hand when 3betting, or people at micro stakes call too much?
And how important is position when 3 betting generally and for specific hands?

Hope you guys can help me a bit :-)
Thanks for your time.
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Old May 16, 2008, 10:59am   #2
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This is probably one of the most read-dependent areas of the pre-flop game. I think your "standard" 3-bet range is probably the same as most people's TAG game in the micros but where you deviate from this is based entirely on your opponents play.

For example, I've been in 25NL games where nobody, but nobody, 3-bet anything but JJ+ and AK. It was completely obvious and it makes it easy to play against these people since you have a clear decision - you fold or you call if you get the implied odds to flop something massive and stack them.

On the other hand I've also played in games where people were 3 and even 4-betting so light it was ridiculous. Most PPs, JT+, sometimes ATC in position. This is a much harder space to play in because:

1. You have to concentrate on playing your best game and not falling into the trap of throwing money around with the rest of the table

2. You have a much less clear idea of where you stand post flop because the chances are you're multi-way and you have a much wider range of hands to put your opponents on

So, in terms of opening up your range it pays to be able to observe the table and alter your play accordingly.

If the villain is tight and will only 3-bet with premium hands then you can open up to take down dead money, build a pot and define the range of your opponent's hands.

If the villain is loose then either be very certain of your edge post flop or you want to 3-bet a tighter range of hands - you're more likely to get action with your monsters. One final point in this scenario is the meta game. It's less important at the micros where people don't think so much about what you have but if the table is very loose and you're playing very tight then people do tend to notice you 3-betting one in every 40 hands and you won't get paid off. In some instances it can help to throw out some action every now and again with more speculative hands (suited connectors, middle pairs etc.) so that when you have a big hand it doesn't look suspicious.

Just my thoughts, caveated with the warning that I'm also a 25NL and 50NL player. At higher stakes I understand that 3-betting ranges vary considerably so some of the higher stakes regulars can help you there.
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Old May 16, 2008, 2:13pm   #3
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Even more important than choosing the right ranges is to target the right people. Everyone with PFR > 15 are vulnerable to 3-bet bluffs. That doesn't mean you should keep your PFR below 15. It only means that you should have a hand almost every time when you 3-bet a PFR 12. (You may however not need a hand to 3-bet a PFR 5 who raised in late position, because they often limp-reraise their best hands and raise with trash). People with PFR > 22 get 3-bet so much that they will 4-bet as a bluff a lot. (People with PFR 17 will too, but not nearly as often). This is something you need to consider when you think about 3-betting them. If you've been battling with one of them for a while, AJo+,AJs+,77+ may be enough for a 5-bet shove!

TT+,AQo+,AQs+ is very often good enough to play all-in when the raiser is in late position and the 3-bettor is in the blinds.

You should definitely do a lot of 3-betting from the blinds, against late position raisers. Some people raise 50% of their range from the button, and it's a mistake to not exploit that. Suited connectors, two high cards, and pocket pairs are all good to reraise sometimes, but don't get carried away and do it all the time. Do it when you think it will get your opponent to fold.

I'm playing 3/6 NL and recently some 5/10 NL. Those games are just absurdly aggressive preflop these days. Your games may not be.
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