Texas Holdem – playing three bet pots

In Texas Holdem, a lot of players will aggressively three bet you when they have position and this can be very annoying. The way that I handle these players varies depending on how often I feel I am being abused. If I feel that it is right to do so then I will immediately four bet them or I may wait until I feel that it is the correct time to do so. Also though I will assess which level I am playing at in order to four bet. For instance on average if I was playing NL50 full-ring then I would be more wary of four betting. This is to do with the fact that players at that level in full-ring will be playing tighter ranges and so I need to be very cognisant of that fact.

However if I am say playing NL200 six max then I know that my opponents will be playing far more aggressively on average. However aggressive three bettors are aggressive three bettors and that really doesn’t matter if it is full ring or six max. However my favourite line against these players is to play some poker with them and this is especially the case if I think that they are the dumb LAG that often frequents the lower middle limits these days. I do not want to four bet players who I may feel may five bet shove on me.

So even if I am out of position to an aggressive LAG then I still may call the three bet. The stacks would have to be fairly deep of course and so if I raised to say $1.50 in NL50 and my aggressive opponent three bet to $4.50 then I would often call and look to play a pot. At the end of the day the $4.50 pre-flop is only 9% of my total stack if our stacks were $50. If we had more of course then the percentage would be lower. However in my experience then the NL50 level is such a great level to multi table because there are so few great players at this level.

So I would definitely have several ways forward here but what does deserve a mention is that I would make my four bets slightly smaller than what other players make them. If I raised to $1.50 and get three bet to $4.50 and I wanted to four bet then I would do so but not to a pot sized bet. Making it something like $11 is enough to make your opponent think that you have something strong and that you are at the top of your range. If you opponent plays along after that or five bets then you can get away from the hand with a minimal loss.

But with $6.75 in the pot then a raise to $11 is not committing you to the pot. However here is where many players go wrong because they make their four bet to something like $18 so when their opponent calls then any bet on the flop is almost pot committing.