What is 3 Bet in Poker? Raise Your Best Hands in Every Poker Match

By admin
May 16, 2024 Reading time : 7 min

“The beautiful thing about poker is that everybody thinks they can play.”, said Chris Moneymaker (American Poker Player)

3 bet poker is one of the most used strategies among poker players. It holds a lot of potential to help you win a game, yet, it is too risky if not played well. Whether you like to play strip poker with your friends or make a living out of playing cards, the 3-bet strategy can be your great companion.


However, if you are a rookie in this field, there are so many things you need to know about it. Because it is an aggressive move to make, it can backfire on you at any time. Therefore, this write-up will be your guide to teach you about the subject and make you a pro from scratch.

What is a 3 Bet in Poker And Why to Use It?


Gambling is a risky way to earn quick cash. You can also lose a hefty amount out of your pocket. Therefore, we recommend that you play responsibly, and make your moves wisely.

Let us start by breaking down the term to make it more meaningful. 

In a poker game, folding blinds are considered the first move. Therefore, this strategy works on a second raise pre-flop. Interestingly, there are two types of 3-bets: 

  • pre-flop, and 
  • post-flop 3-bets

However, since the pre-flop strategy is the most common and people majorly agree with this strategy, we are also going to refer to pre-flop. 

Therefore, the second raise pre-flop is considered as the 3-bet.

Case Study

Now that you know what does 3-bet mean in poker, let us understand it with an example:

Suppose that you are playing Texas Hold’em, which is a popular variant of poker. Since we all know that the game is all about dominating your opponents and being confident in your moves, you have to do the same. 

So, suppose you have an Ace of Spades and a King of Hearts in your hands (which is a pretty strong combination of cards also known as “Big Slick”). Since they are in your favor, you can make a raise to the table even if your opponent has already made the raise previously. 

This move shows that you have a pretty big hand in the game, and you are quite confident about your win.


  • Posting the blinds is the first bet.
  • The starting raise is considered a 2-bet.
  • The player who re-raises the 2-bet player is defined as a 3-bet.
  • A 4-bet is when a player re-raises the player who 3-bet.
  • 5-bets, 6-bets, and higher are possible, albeit rare, usually resulting in players moving all in.

What are 3-Bet Poker Ranges?

Poker Ranges

There are 3 different types of ranges in which you can do 3 betting:

  1. Strong Range: This is the most predictable situation in which one can 3 bet. 3-betting on a strong range means you surely have better cards than anyone else on the table. Since this is a predictable situation, any seasoned gambler can notice it and fold in such situations.
  2. Polarized Range: This is a much better option, yet not the best thing you can do. This range includes 3-betting your premium cards, while also sometimes bluffing to make others confused about your patterns. One thing to note here is that you need to be decisive when you can 3-bet or when you can bluff.
  3. Merged Range: Merged Range is best suited for the professionals. Here, you bet only 3-bet if you have your strong hands or the next-strongest hand.

Practice makes a man perfect. And with enough practice, you can also master this skill and get comfortable with different ranges according to the needs of the situation.

When to Use or Not Use a 3-Bet in Poker?

It is now pretty much obvious that 3-bet poker can help you win exciting matches and fill up your pockets. However, as mentioned earlier, there is a high chance that this trick may backfire on you at any time. Therefore, here are some scenarios in which 3-betting would be the best thing for you:

  1. 3-Betting for Value: In case you have a good collection of cards, you can 3 bet to fill up the pot and extract as much as you can from the round. For this, you need to be sure that you have the best cards from the whole table.
  2. 3-Betting as a Bluff: The worst thing you can do in a poker game is feel vulnerable or underconfident. Therefore, even if you do not have your desired set of cards, you can 3-bet them to overwhelm or dominate your competition, trying to misguide them.
  3. Get Weak Players Out: Weak players or newbies just waste time. Therefore, if you see any signs of a rookie, such as poor post-flop, too many 3-bets, or folds to too many 3-bets, just get them out of the game.

Now, here is when NOT to use 3-bet: 

Ultimately, the value of poker chips is justified when you can misguide or manipulate players for your own good. Therefore, you have to plan your strategy in a way that if a player is weak, you still have to give him some hope so that he does not fold his cards. Whereas humble down a strong player to believe that you can clearly outperform him.

An effective 3-bet can be considered when you can force a weaker hand to call, force a stronger hand to fold, or cause a drawing hand with poor odds to call.

How to Play a 3-Bet?

How to Play a 3 Bet

Here is a quick guide to make your first 3-bet:

  • Judge the 3-Bet Size: You should refrain from making minimal 3-bets and focus on making big moves. You can take the open raise amount as a reference. Your smallest 3-bet must be double the amount of the open raise.
  • Tighten Your 3-Bet Range: As mentioned earlier, you must plan our range carefully so that you do not scare the weaker player, and at the same time keep the strong player in control with your bluffs.
  • Examine the Initial Raiser: Since your 3-bet is a re-raise of the initial raiser, you must have the strength first so that you can make the 3-bet. 

This is how critically you should plan your 3-bet for a successful move.

Pros and Cons of 3-Bet

Instead of jumping to a conclusion, you must analyze all the pros and cons to come to an informed decision. That said, here are some pros and cons of 3-bet poker. 

  • Build great winning opportunities
  • Aggressive in nature
  • Manipulate players at the table
  • Isolate weak players
  • Misguide or mislead players with strong hands
  • Highly risky when not analyzed efficiently
  • Can easily backfire

With these points, analyze your skills and decide whether this tactic fits with your nature or not.

Final Words

Finally, 3 bet poker is about manipulating or misleading the players at the table to behave in your favor. 3-bet is often used to give weak players hope to win, and to overwhelm a stronger player into thinking that you are in a better place than him. Ultimately, it is a practical strategy to adopt, but it can harm your back if not planned properly. 

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good 3 bet percentage?

6-9% is considered as the safest or best percentage for the using 3-bet strategy.

What is 4-bet in poker?

4-bet is basically re-raising the 3-bet. It can go much further to 5-bet, 6-bet, and so on.

Why it is called 3-bet?

Raising the blinds is considered the first move in the game. Therefore, the initial raise is called 2-bet, and the re-raise to the initial raise is said the 3-bet.

Posted by
Related Posts