3-Betting – Ranges

Bluffing Range

You may have heard some of your poker friends talk about 3-betting a polarized range. This is where you 3-bet hands that are more towards the bottom of your hand range that you wouldn’t find profitable to call as a bluff, and at the very high end of your range (top 4.2%) for value. Then some of the remaining hands you leave in your range to call with. So a typical polarized 3-bet range would look something like this:

These are some example ranges, and while of course you can 3-bet bluff some other hands, these are more profitable on average to do so. You can also call with a wider range as well, and include suited and unsuited connectors, as well as gapped connectors.

Using an example from above, you call with a hand like AJs instead of 3-bet with it because your equity versus your opponent’s opening range is good, and you keep in dominated hands like KJ, JQ, AT, A9, etc. If you 3-bet AJs your equity drops, and you keep in more hands that will dominate your range like AQ, JJ, etc.

So if you add some of these bluffing hands to your 3-bet value range, you’ll increase your 3-bet range to a percentage that will properly polarize your total 3-bet range. This means that if you get your total 3-bet percentage to around 8%, your opponent won’t know when you’re 3-betting for value, or when you’re 3-bet bluffing. They’ll have to risk calling and playing a re-raised pot without initiative against you, folding their hand and giving up their equity, or 4-betting you.

Quasi Range

There will be times when you will want to turn some of your range you might normally call with, like AJs in the example above, into a 3-bet quasi-value range. You might do this against opponents who don’t like to fold to 3-bets, or when you want to 3-bet isolate a weak player to keep other regulars out of the pot. It’s quasi because sometimes it can be for value, and sometimes it will be a bluff. An example of a 3-bet quasi range is many of our calling hands from the previous examples.

Quasi 3-bet Range: KQo+, KJs+, A9s–AJs, ATo–AJo, QJs+, 99–TT

Against players who are opening fairly wide, and don’t fold to 3-bets, re-raising a hand like AJs or KQs has a lot of value. You’ll have your opponent calling with a lot of suited and unsuited connectors, dominated hands, and small pairs that don’t have good flopability. There are a lot of hands where you’ll put your opponent in a defensive position with an inferior range often enough.

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