Tournament strategy – final table action and deal-making

Three Bet Defence in Poker

You will be battered more often than a piece of cod in poker live tournaments so it is important to learn how to soak it up. One form of battering comes in the shape of the three bet; here are some tips on how to defend against such a volley.



Three Bet Defence in Poker

In the world of poker, mastering the art of aggression is essential, but it's equally crucial to have a strong defense. This guide will delve into the concept of defense in poker, specifically focusing on how to defend against a three-bet, an aggressive move often encountered during the game.

The Importance of a Solid Defense

FAQ 1: What is a three-bet in poker?

A three-bet, also known as a "re-raise" or "reraise," occurs when a player makes a substantial raise after an initial bet and a subsequent raise. It's a move typically used to show strength and put pressure on opponents.

In the example provided, we'll explore strategies for dealing with a three-bet scenario.

Analyzing the Situation

Imagine you're in a $1/2 six-max cash game with players holding full stacks. Here's the scenario:

  • You're in the cutoff position.
  • You open the betting with a $6 raise.
  • The button and small blind fold.
  • The big blind then three-bets to $18.

Tight Opponent Strategy

FAQ 2: How should I react to a three-bet from a tight opponent?

If your opponent is known to be a tight player and you don't have a premium hand, the best strategy is simplicity itself: fold. Even the world's top players excel because they can fold wisely when necessary.

FAQ 3: What should I do with a pocket pair when facing a tight three-bettor?

If you happen to have a pocket pair, resist the temptation to set mine (hoping to hit a set). The pot odds won't justify this move, so folding is the optimal choice.

Loose Opponent Strategy

FAQ 4: How should I approach a three-bet from a loose opponent?

When your opponent is loose, things get a bit more interesting. In this case, you can't rely solely on implied odds. The loose opponent might not have a strong hand even when you hit yours.

One effective strategy is to go all-in. The wide range of hands your opponent three-bets with means they'll fold often enough for you to profit from this move. Alternatively, you can make a small four-bet with the intention of folding if faced with a five-bet all-in.


Mastering the art of defense in poker, especially against three-bets, is crucial for your long-term success at the tables. Remember to adapt your strategy based on your opponent's playing style, and be prepared to fold when necessary. Whether you're facing a tight or loose opponent, making informed decisions is key to becoming a successful poker player.

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Three Bet Defence in Poker