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Texas Hold'em No Limit Advanced

3-Bet Bluffing Pre-Flop and When to do it

11,419 Views on 14/10/13

3Bet Bluffing in Poker - An Essential Preflop Play to increase your win rate.

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Thepokerimage main objective of 3 Bet Bluffing in Texas Hold'em is to take down the pot pre-flop. Many players don’t recognise what hands they should 3 Bet for value and what should 3 Bet to to bluff. Some players are simply ‘clicking buttons’ and do not have a solid preconceived plan to follow.

Benefits of 3 Bet Bluffing are:

1) Boosting our Win Rate

2) Creating an Aggresive Image

3) It's low variance due to the fact we don’t have to c-bet and play postflop when our opponents fold.

Who should be target for the 3 Bet Bluff?

1) an opponent who folds to 3bets often. stats wise f3b 70%+

2) an opponent who attempts to steal often(Button opening of 40%+)

What position to 3 Bet Bluff in?

You should always try to 3bet bluff In position since your opponent is more likely to call in position and fold out of position!

Hands to 3 Bet Bluff with

1) Bet the top of your range with hands that are not strong enough to call with. Hands such as AxS, KxS, suited 1 gappers (97s, 68s), suited 2 gappers (710s), Small pocket pairs (if you can’t set mine profitably).

Hands not to do it with

2) We shouldn't use this play with hands we can dominate our opponents range with. KQos for example. If they fold to the 3bet then we miss out on potential post flop value.

Positional Awareness:

1) Our 3bet will be interpreted as stronger or weaker depending on the positions involved.

2) Blind vs. Blind battles. We may get played back at more from these positions.

3) 3bets look much stronger MP vs EP than BB vs BTN

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Pay attention of:

Who we are 3betting - For example If a fish folds to 3bets a lot from CO but not EP then we should not be bluffing vs his EP open a lot. However vs a reg we can do it as we get more credit for our 3bets.

Bet Sizing for 3 Bet Bluffs:

Should be somewhere between 2.8x and 3.5x the original raise. This will allow us to get most respect but to lose the least if 4Bet.

Squeeze sizing from blinds should be around 12bbs vs 2 players.

How often does our 3bet bluff need to work?

SB raises to 3bb, hero BTN raises 9bb, Risking 8bb more to win the 4bb pot. Total pot = 12bb. Hero invests 8bb/12bb which is 66.66% so we need to win the pot this amount of the time to break even in the long run. Anything above this is profit. If the villain has a f3b 67%+ then heros play is +EV in the long run.

Final Pointers: 

1) Don’t go crazy - Players will play back at us.

2) Our play works more if we have a tight table image.

3) Don’t do it all the time until it stops working. Be smart and constantly adjust to your opponent.


Jon PokerVIP

10 years and over 10 million hands of cash game poker Jon-PokerVIP brings a wealth of experience to team VIP. If he isn't winning 150k a month prop hands challenges  then he will be probably posting in our forum, streaming on ... Read More


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