Adjusting to Aggressive 3-Bettors
Short handed and 6 max online games tend to have aggressive 3-bet dynamics. As an inexperienced poker player, it can be difficult to make the right adjustments as it’s something you just didn’t have to deal with in the less aggressive games. The main objective of aggro 3-bettors is to make you uncomfortable so that you make a mistake. In this article, brought to you by Online Rakeback, we will discuss strategies of adjusting to aggressive 3-bettors, so you hopefully won’t be adjusting the wrong way.
In aggressive 6-max games, the first thing you have to realize is that players are looking to exploit weaknesses. Some players will prefer to 3-bet in position, while other players will relentlessly 3-bet in the blinds, when one of the players in late position opened. Either way, the aggressive 3-bettor is looking to exploit a weakness.
If you can understand the mindset of the 3-bettor, then knowing how to react to a 3-bet becomes easier to determine. Getting frustrated by the constant 3 betting and playing back at the 3-bettor with non premium hands is not a good option. Quite often, calling the 3 bet instead of 4betting/folding is the worst option you can take, especially when out of position, but it will also largely depend on the tendencies of the 3bettor in 3 bet pots.
For example, if you know its likely your opponent is 3 betting light, but you also know they have a tendency to cbet spew a lot on the flop and later streets, instead of 4betting your premium hands, calling is an option, as it will allow them to spew off more money post flop with their air, which they otherwise would have folded if you decided to 4 bet.
When analyzing the 3-bet% in your HUD, you will notice this statistic is categorized by position at the table. If a player is 3betting a lot more when they will have position in the hand post flop, they likely understand the importance of position. If they are 3 betting a player who understands this fundamental concept as well, then they also know unless the original raiser has a premium hand, they will likely fold to the 3bet since they will be out of position in a 3 bet pot if they called.
Raising from early position usually suggests you have a strong hand, but in 6 max games where there are fewer players, the aggressive 3 bettors will still target EP players who are raising many hands from early position. If you think that an aggressive player is 3 betting light even against your EP raises, then you really should be looking to tighten up in early position. Instead of opening with all pairs from UTG, perhaps you could fold some of the small pocket pairs when you have good players running like 24/20 and 7% 3 bet to your left, since these hands don’t play well in re-raised pots.
A common situation is when you start opening up your range in the CO and you have an aggressive 3 bettor on the BTN who seems to be constantly 3 betting your CO raises. Unless you have a premium hand you can continue with, you should just fold to the 3 bet, but adjust to their pre-flop aggression by tightening up your raising range in the CO.
If you tighten up your raising range in late position but they are still 3betting you relentlessly, then you can start 4 betting as a bluff, because its impossible for your opponent to always have a hand when they 3 bet. However, 4 betting light is something you want to do sparingly.
The next type of 3 bettor is the aggressive player in the blinds.These players are trying to exploit aggressive blind stealers. They realize its impossible for you to always have a strong hand if you are raising a large percentage of hands in the CO/BTN, so they incorporate light 3 betting into their game.
A common scenario from aggressive players in the blinds is the squeeze play. A player on the BTN will open, the SB calls, and the player in the BB will squeeze raise, in an attempt to steal the dead money pre-flop.
Adjusting to these aggressive 3bettors is the same. You want to tighten up your raising range in late position, so they donít always think you are stealing the blinds with rubbish hands. If you make this adjustment and they continue to play back at you pre-flop, you actually have an advantage over them in these situations, and the possibility of calling becomes an option since you will have position in the hand post flop.
Call The 3-Bet or 4-Bet – What Is The Best Option?
You have to weigh up the advantages of calling the 3 bet versus 4 betting. Whatever option will extract the most value from your opponent, is the best option to take. Usually, the best adjustment to make in late position is to start raising hands which are good enough to continue with if you are faced with a 3-bet. Of course, you can decide to 4 bet your premium hands as well.
Remember, although it is important to be properly adjusting to aggressive 3 bettors, table selection is still very important in 6 max games. Even though 3 betting is common place in short handed games nowadays, there are not aggressive 3bettors at every table. When there are and they are sitting to your left, they can make life very difficult for you, but you can always choose to play in another game.
If you are looking for a less aggressive site at which to play, you should definitely check our Win Cake Poker Review. And as usual, always use proper poker bankroll management, which is one of the best defenses against aggressive play.