Win More 3-Bet Pots with These 3 Simple Tricks

Three-bet pots greatly affects a player’s win rate as it results to bigger pots should we decide to enter them. Improving on winning 3-bet pots could mean doubling an already positive win rate to some players. Here are 3 simple tricks to help you win more in 3-bet pots.

1. Be the aggressor
Entering 3-bet pots could either mean you would be calling a 3-bet or you would be initiating the 3-bet as the aggressor.
With a reasonable 3-bet pre-flop strategy, being the aggressor in a 3-bet pot gives you more advantage than being the defender.
As the 3-bettor we can represent more hands and c-bet favorable boards to force opponents out of the pot.
For example:
Middle position raises to 3x the big blind and HJ calls and we 3-bet A♦Q♦ to 15x in the cutoff. MP calls and HJ folds.
Board: J♦ 7♣ 5♥
Even though we didn’t hit the flop, we can bet our equity to fold out villain’s pocket 4’s, pocket 8’s, 9’s, even tens. It’s always better to be the aggressor because it is easier to bet and deny equity than to make hands.

2. Attack the board when an Ace or a King rolls off on the turn or river
Having a reasonable 3-bet strategy requires 3-betting with a dynamic range. When implementing this strategy, we sometimes find ourselves with a low equity hand in a dry board.
For example:
Middle position raises to 3x and we 3-bet on the button with 8♣7♣. Middle position calls and we go heads up to the flop.
Board: J♦3♥2♣
We c-bet pot and villain calls.
Turn: A♣
This is a perfect spot to continue aggression. Most players who defends the flop on a non A high or K high board usually puts 3-bettors on AK.
This means there will be a ton of fold equity realized anytime a scary A or K rolls of on either the turn or river.
In this particular example, it might be easier to decide on betting the A♦ turn because it gives us a flush draw. However, any A or K would do the job to discourage villain from continuing in the hand.

3. Defend in position on J-high boards or lower and attack the turn when checked to
Villain will normally have a high c-bet frequency after 3-betting pre-flop. This means that we would have to defend more hands versus his c-bet since AK, AQ, KQ, and other unpaired hands would still be in his range.
For example:
We raise in the cutoff to 3x and villain 3-bets in the big blind to 10x. We call and we go heads-up to the flop.
Flop: 9♥ 8♠ 3♠
Villain c-bets pot and we call.
This is a spot that we should consider defending more hands. Even when we have 5♥5♠ we would still be ahead of most of his unpaired holdings.
Turn: 6♦
Villain checks. We bet ¾ pot and villain folds.
This is a pristine spot to go for an aggressive action since villain is already showing signs of weakness by checking the turn. Aside from that the 6♦ is unlikely to have improved villain’s range.
Betting huge would be optimal since he would be folding out the equity of his unpaired high cards.

Final Thoughts:
Every effective strategy in poker requires proper execution. It is always important to consider the context of the strategy before applying it real time. There are times where strategies that work most of the time are –EV because of the meta of the game.