• June 18, 2021

Online Poker Dictionary:Three-Bet Light

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The three-bet light is an online poker term that is used to describe three-betting with non-premium hands as a form of bluff to get folds from better hands.
Three betting “light” with a wider range of hands then you would normally is a skill you will have to get used to especially as you begin to progress through the various stakes online and live.
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3-betting means reraising and this can take place pre or post flop, but it is often used to refer to preflop 3-betting.
Nowadays, the prevalent strategy in middle to high stake full ring cash games is TAG, with VPIP/PFR around 15/12. This is considered to be an optimal level of a player’s statistics, any lower numbers viewed as nit and any higher numbers regarded as lag-spew.
At low and micro-stakes, these statistics are much broader with more maniacs and fish and some rocks, but such a TAG style is nevertheless considered a good starting point. At 6-max overall play is looser but the general idea of this article is the same. Make sure to use an advanced HUD such as poker-edge if you want to instantly know your opponents’ styles.
The problem with the prevalent TAG strategy is that the corresponding preflop 3-betting frequency is around 2-3%, which is equivalent to a range {KK+,AK} or sometimes {QQ+,AK} in full ring games. This makes the TAG style very predictable in case of a 3-bet, which is associated with such a narrow range.
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3-betting light is a way to nullify that predictability and gain control by 3-betting preflop with a much wider range.
Also 3-betting with suited connectors, low pairs or middle aces gives the opportunity to hit big with an unexpected holding which may deliver the entire stack of your deceived opponent on a platter.
Another benefit is to project the image of a maniac, which will induce a lot of action in the future. If the 3-bettor makes a continuation bet and the hand goes to a showdown, showing next to nothing, this will give him a crazy image, which he can leverage off later when he 3-bets with a strong hand and his large bets are called by unbelievers.
In summary, “3-betting light” must belong to the arsenal of any good hold’em player, but it should be used wisely, taking into account position, players’ styles, table dynamics, opponents’ range for calling 3-bets if known and your current table image.
Use 3-betting light preflop parsimoniously, otherwise your opponents will rapidly notice your bluffs and you will have to answer to their 4-betting light.
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Steve Carr

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