Posted on 28 July 2010
Part 1 of 5…
4 betting is a term used to refer to the 4th bet pre flop. Blinds are the first bet, the next bet, an open is the second bet (although it’s never really referred to as a 2 bet) Raising an the initial unforced bet is called a 3 bet and re raising that bet is called a 4 bet.
4 bets have become the weapon of choice for many of todays best poker players and can be used to build pots, limit fields, combat “light 3 betting in position wana be table captains” as well as bluffing player who view 4 bets as one of only 2 hands AA or KK. Over the last few years 3 betting light has become so common place that a counter strategy was inevitable. 4 betting that freak at the table who keeps raising and re-raising will send them limping off and no doubt will have them looking for a weaker target in future BUT if you want to play optimally pre-flop knowing exactly when to 4 bet will make your life a lot easier at tough tables.
Poker is all about detective work. If you knew your villain’s hand range and knew they never varied their play then over time you could build a pretty accurate picture of what they were holding. Over time you’d be able to exploit this perfectly.
It goes without saying then that if you only ever 4 bet with AA or KK any thinking opponent would exploit this 3 betting as much as they want, then folding when you 4 bet. There for to extract maximum value you will need to widen your 4 bet range. J-J, T-T and A-Q all make sense and there are a lot of player that will 4 bet with hands like 6-7s, to 9-Ts A-5s etc… Much of this will be table / situation dependent, something we will explore later. More on this tomorrow.
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