• July 24, 2021

Online Poker Dictionary: Three-Bet

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One of the common definitions you will hear as you play poker is “3-bet”, or “three-bet” A 3-bet as most players use the term means the act of putting in the third bet, technically the second “raise”, the “3-bet” during any given round of action. It’s only in recent years that the term has become popular, indicative of its use during online play.
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A 3-bet, which is always a form of a re-raise is designed to be an indicator of a true premium hand. The 3-bet is a shot over the bow of the initial raiser, designed to capture that pot right there. The intent of the 3-bet is to say to the initial bettor. One common variation involves the initial raise coming from a late position, the button player or the cut-off , and the 3-bet is made by the small or big blind, who may assume the button or cutoff is attempting to steal the blinds. Overall, the 3-bet is traditionally one of the strongest moves a player can make, trailing perhaps only the all-in push and the check-raise in its ability to change a hand. It is supposed to mean that the player making the move has a very strong hand, though this being poker, that is not always the case.
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Here’s an example. Let’s say you are in the small blind. The table folds to the button, who raises. If you were to re-raise, you would be putting in the third bet. Why? Well, the button has actually put in two bets – his initial call and then his raise. When you make another raise, you’re putting a third bet into the pot.
Three betting is a critical part of modern poker. Before the advent of online poker, a third bet in no limit and pot limit games generally indicated a very strong hand. Now, as games have gotten more aggressive, the three bet is used quite liberally by players in cash and tournament play alike. Knowledge of when you should three bet and what your opponent’s three betting range is are both critical skills for players hoping to profit in modern poker.
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Steve Carr

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