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3bet/4bet preflop, cash game

    • RemiRem
      RemiRem
      Silver
      Joined: 27.12.2009 Posts: 73
      Hi, so I have read a nice article about 3bet and 4bet ranges, bluff/value ratio preflop. Opened a zoom table, and went nuts. And guess what, got owned like a fish I am. People were calling 4bets OOP left and right. Anyway, this is my big weakness. I have no idea how to 4bet profitably, how or should I defend blinds. SB position is autofold for me, witch is not so bad i guess. So could anyone point me to right direction with articles and videos witch are up to date? I can google, but its just tons of unnecessary information to filter from, anyone can share their thoughts?
  • 31 replies
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      What limit do you play?
      On zoom light 3bets and light 4bets are much more common than on the regular tables.
      People just steal more, and it's what you should do as well. But don't go crazy. Use position to put pressure on them.
      From my experience, without a hud it's very complicated to play those pots correctly. Even on the lower limits.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      Anyway the value to bluff ratio is a dated concept (typical mistake of several years ago's trend, Janda's first book era) that isn't on point anymore.
      Preflop you can't speak of "value" and "bluffing" hands, it's just wrong. Every hand has an EV (positive if you should play it) and that's all.
      That's why raising ranges have become less polarized nowadays.

      Even postflop the concepts of value and bluff can be misleading and aren't always used to describe advanced plays but that's another story.


      Apparently you're mostly concerned about blind defense and steal, there should be recent videos on the subject that I'm not aware of. I don't know what else to say to you except find solver's preflop ranges of read the last book of Janda.
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      I think the key idea is reasonableness.
      Just think of the hand and the opponent you're facing and do the most reasonable play.
      That's what poker is all about : exploit the leaks of one another. That's why we play it: because of the fact that the game is so opponent dependent, which makes it unique.
      Solid understand of the basic math of it and of the players you're up against, always taking into account their perception of you.
    • PinPong69
      PinPong69
      Basic
      Joined: 25.10.2018 Posts: 1
      But if you're not bluffing and for example have AA, lets say blinds are 1/2 dollars, so what amount to 3bet is wise? Or in general, what amount preflop is good to bet so that not everybody else would be scared of you or fold?
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      The standard open raise size is 3bb. On the BTN you can bet smaller due to positional advantage.
      3bet IP usually do 3x the raise, OOP to 4x the raise. That's what's "in the book".
      Obviously you can adapt this to the game you're playing.
      Example:
      If you have a massive whale you can open bigger with your premiums because he's going to call and you get more value pre.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      The sizing depends on the range you are playing with. Theoretically, for a given position, if you open 2,5x you can open with more hands that if you open 3x etc and of course it should change your opponents' calling ranges. It's even a trend at high stakes to try weird opening sizes just in order to get other people a little more off balanced because they aren't used as much to defend with the corresponding range.
      Also at high stakes there is a talk about mixing BB defense (vs BU) into 2 different 3bet sizes, one small merged and one big more polarized.

      All in all sizing is a complex matter without that much standard whatsoever, at least as long as preflop isn't completely solved. Good luck have fun trying to prove 3x is better or worse than 2,5x overall etc. The important is to find a coherent style with your range and to get used to it.

      About playing whales, I don't really get the idea that when we have AA we want to bet bigger but not with the rest of our range. Any hand we're opening with at anytime is supposed to be a +EV one that could benefit from being opened bigger if we really are playing an opponent so fishy that he doesn't adapt and keeps calling way too light. Think about all the pots he'll have to give up postflop etc.
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      Originally posted by MyFloXyBabY
      The sizing depends on the range you are playing with. Theoretically, for a given position, if you open 2,5x you can open with more hands that if you open 3x etc and of course it should change your opponents' calling ranges.
      Floxy, what do you think of opening 2.5x from every position on zoom?
      People are so tight that I find myself opening from UTG and taking the pot a lot of the times.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      Originally posted by zetozinho
      Floxy, what do you think of opening 2.5x from every position on zoom?
      People are so tight that I find myself opening from UTG and taking the pot a lot of the times.
      Well, there are several things that I haven't mention yet in fact.

      First is the rake. The lower the stake the higher the rake, and the higher the rake the more impactful it is on small pots so the less point there is making subtle stuffs as the gain of EV will be eaten by the rake. That's why it's not standard to develop an open limping range from SB before a certain (quite high) stake for example.

      Second is the field. As long as you're playing on a rake heavy stake, you're playing fishes and regfishes that doesn't adapt well (if at all) to your sizings. They'll play more or less the same range and make more or less the same mistakes versus 2,5x or 3x. The only exception possibly being steal from BU and it's not even sure. I think even BB vs BU people don't really take into account your stealing size and are mostly looking at if they like their holdings.
      In that case it's better to keep a rather big size and try making more of a profit with it both by better beating the rake and more exploiting the opponents.
      Good regs are indeed numerous to open 2,5x from every position (except maybe BU) at higher stakes but even among them most advocates betting bigger at micros.

      Third is the position. It's a pain to play from early. Even at micros you just can't play too wide. You can't "steal" from UTG, even (or perhaps moreover) at zoom. Why would you need to reduce your size ? You can't open 20% or more from UTG so just open 3x with your usual range (which should be in the 14-19 % range depending on your style and ease at where you're playing).
      Basically the bigger and/or the wider you open from EP, the more you open yourself to being exploited by 3betters IP (3bets being more efficient at denying your holding's equity) which is the main problem keeping people from opening too wide at higher stakes.


      The organisation of my whole post might not be as clear as I'd want it to be and I probably have missed things but I hope it's already enough to answer your question. If no keep asking ^^
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      I get it. I avoid to play OOP at the micros when I can with speculative hands. You just can't represent anything against those stations, put yourself in cbetting / double barreling spots with no FE and it's a pain the *** definitely.
      The rake is ridiculous. My WR is decent but once on PS here there's no rakeback deals I'm screwed. Rake kills you on the micros. And kills more here because the field is so narrow that you just can't find those big whales very often.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Gold
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 7,181
      pokerstars zoom nl5 is definitely not dead in terms of reg to fish ratio. partypoker fastforward nl5 is dead sometimes, though...
      you're saying that people are tight (which is true), so you should be more inclined to be looser preflop and tighter postflop. (though the weak-tight regs are still going to overfold a lot in a bunch of postflop spots)

      are you cbetting too much? if you "have no FE", then don't bluff - it's obvious, but it needs to be said sometimes.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      Well I find SC totally playable at micros in fact, because micros players neither 3bet pre nor raise flop nowhere near enough to keep me from realizing most of my equity.
      That doesn't mean I bluff that much with them though, but at micros you can (in the right spots) bluff like anywhere else, and it's certainly not easier to pull a bluff against a good reg which knows how to defend his range and hopefully how to read and all. The idea that against people calling too much some otherwise playable hands would then become unplayable is a total misunderstanding of how the EV of the hand is calculated. If anything, having people calling you too much gives more value to your holdings, be it AA or 89s.

      What might kill you is zoom though. Even at micros, you have to bumhunt, table select, etc all you can. That'll help a lot beating rake. Rake is high but winrate can be too lol. But your normal table's winrate should be quite higher than your zoom table's winrate, trust me. I like the speed of zoom and all, I'm quite addicted to it, but it keeps surprising me (and frustrating me) how less I earn at zoom tables. There are less fishes (and they play less awfully) and there are more regs and nits (and they play better). Even with the volume increase it offers it's not that sexy in the end.
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      The problem floxy is that here you can't table select X(
      Everytime you want to play you're just put in a random seat. Sometimes I find myself playing tables HU because there are like 20 players online on NL5 and tables are full. Besides, there are no FR games...
      So basically:
      - No table selection;
      - High rake;
      - No FR games (I don't like them, but whatever);
      - Player pool is ridiculously small;

      So I'm most of the times playing against the same guys (I've some players with 15k hands on my hud, which is ridiculous on micros). And they're not fish, whales. Nits or regs, bad or good.
      So I've started on zoom because the player pool is bigger (spanish and french players join the zoom games, but not the normal tables).
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Gold
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 7,181
      ah, i see you're on pokerstars EU.
      can't really say anything about the state of these games, but it seems quite possible that you will find the state of zoom better than reg tables given what you just described.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      Oh you are portuguese ! I'm french =)
      Indeed our rake is totally insane, apparently it'd cost 3 bb/100 more to a NL100 reg to play here rather than on the .com ! 8-o
      At micros I don't know but it might even be higher... :(
    • zetozinho
      zetozinho
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2017 Posts: 289
      I can confidently say that as this moment it's not possible to get those 20-15bb/100 hands WR here.
      Anything above 7/8 even at NL2 is very good.
      We perhaps have played against each other floxy and didn't know ahahaha.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      Well I'd be really surprised as the last time I played micros on that room the pool wasn't shared yet :D
    • OrigamiPoker
      OrigamiPoker
      Silver
      Joined: 27.10.2018 Posts: 66
      Originally posted by MyFloXyBabY
      Anyway the value to bluff ratio is a dated concept (typical mistake of several years ago's trend, Janda's first book era) that isn't on point anymore.
      Preflop you can't speak of "value" and "bluffing" hands, it's just wrong. Every hand has an EV (positive if you should play it) and that's all.
      A large chunk of your ev with bluffs relies on fold equity not just the raw equity the hand has .The value/bluff ratio isn't dated it's just a mathematical equation but rather polerized ranges have possibly become dated and not used so much any more as a default.A 3bet or 4bet bluff is still a bluff though as it's relying on that preflop fold equity to make it +ev.
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 3,214
      That's exactly what I've been saying. You can't separate value and bluff as all hands before the river are semi-bluffs and not pure value or pure bluff.

      Talking about a value to bluff ratio often still make sense postflop though because the board tend to "polarize" our holdings quite much. But preflop, come on... For an opening range or a 3betting range, nearly never ! For a 4betting range already more sure but that's all that's left lol.
    • OrigamiPoker
      OrigamiPoker
      Silver
      Joined: 27.10.2018 Posts: 66
      Value 3bets are value because the 3bet in itself is +ev long term regardless of later streets. A 3bet bluff is not in itself +ev it relies on preflop fold equity to become +ev.I think there is a clear separation between value and bluff within a polerized range. In a linear range i agree that it's not so clear cut without info on villain.And a large portion of the range does then sit in the middle ground as semi bluff hand strength wise.But within a linear range there are still clear value 3bets.
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