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Preflop 3-bet sizing

I noticed on a recent video that Ki typically 3-bet preflop about 5x the open. On a different video, Conlon recommended 3-betting 4 - 4.5x, saying that it incentivized the opener to set mine. I would think a smaller sizing would give the opener better pot odds and incentivize him more than a larger sizing. Also, in my 5-10 game, I find that a 3-3.5x three-bet is usually enough to isolate the opener. So wouldn’t that be more efficient, since you are achieving your goals without risking more money when you do run into a monster and are beat?


  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 2,060Subscriber
    Many different factors - opener position, your position, stack sizes, callers in between, how you expect villain to react to your 3bet...

    There has been a ton of conversation around 3betting in the #nlhestrategy channel on Slack the last few days. @KiLeex and @thnkpositive had a great discussion on the merits of polar vs linear 3betting, as well as how to use different sizings in different scenarios. Definitely check that out if you haven't already.

    Simplistically you want to 3bet more from out of position, and less from in position. Though I always look for sizing exploits (i.e. smaller sizing) to entice people to call wider with inferior hands they would otherwise fold, or larger sizing in situations where I want to manipulate pot size based on stack sizes.
  • RagingOwlRagingOwl Posts: 172Member
    I think one of the biggest factors governing bet sizing is going to be SPR.

    What's your plan for the hand? What do you plan to do post flop?

    Maybe you're raising for value with a premium hand that's likely to be just one-pair at showdown (PP/AK/AQ). Or instead, maybe you're 3bet bluffing with hands that flop solid chunks of equity and set up good barrelling situations. One bet size won't always fit both of those situations.

    You can adjust your raise sizing to 'dial in' the most preferred SPR for your hand.
    Thanked by 2DrSpace Letmewin1
  • SuperflySuperfly Posts: 601Subscriber
    Thanks, dpbuck. I am still trying to figure out Slack but will look for the thread. Raging Owl, could you give me some specific examples of how you would adjust for SPR? I understand what you say, and it makes sense, but would like to get a better understanding of how much you vary sizing based on stack sizes. 5-10 examples would be most relevant for me, but feel free to base on other blind structures if you prefer.
  • RagingOwlRagingOwl Posts: 172Member
    edited August 2018
    Superfly wrote: »
    Raging Owl, could you give me some specific examples of how you would adjust for SPR?

    5/10 game with $2k stacks

    Scenario 1 - Villain Opens $30, Hero 3-bets to $90, Villain Calls. SPR = 10.6
    Scenario 2 - Villain opens $30, Hero 3-bets to $150, Villain Calls. SPR = 6.2

    Scenario 1 is better when we're 3-bet bluffing and hoping to leverage further bluffing opportunities when called. So that's a sizing I might use when I'm 3-betting 87s in position, or A5s out of the blinds.

    Scenario 2 is better when we're trying to set up strong value bets post flop looking to stack off and get paid by a worse hand. So I'd use that sizing if I'm 3-betting premiums like QQ+/AK

    This might seem like an obvious tell, but in reality it isn't. Stack sizes vary throughout a session, so you'll often be setting up different SPR's with similar size bets and vice-versa.

    For example, let's say Scenario 1 happened. You 3-bet to $90 to set up a high-SPR for your bluffing hand. Then later in the session, you have a premium hand, but the effective stack is only $1200. That same $90 raise size sets up the 6.2 SPR you desire.
  • SuperflySuperfly Posts: 601Subscriber
    Thanks, @RagingOwl. Interesting. So you adjust your 3-bet size to manipulate STR, creating higher SPR scenarios when bluffing to leave yourself enough room for multi barrels. And reducing SPR with strong hands to better ensure getting stacks in. Another benefit is that you are committing less preflop when bluffing and possibly exposed to a 4-bet you cannot call. I hadn’t thought of that before. Appreciate u taking the time to explain it to me.

  • DrSpaceDrSpace Posts: 716Subscriber
    Way different considerations in position and out of position.

    BTW please put stakes on your post as it matters a lot.

    OOP we 3! larger usually because solvers say its most profitable. This is usually because of SPR issues and how hard it makes it for the opener to call profitably with hands like S.C. and suited broadways.
  • thnkpositivethnkpositive Posts: 26Subscriber
    From a theoretical standpoint you want to lower the SPR OOP because when you're OOP you have to c bet more merged. The lower the SPR the less punishable a merged CB range is. This is because the value of protection exists a lot more for the OOP player than the IP player since the IP player has the ability to enforce free cards.
    For example:
    We're BvCO, we 3b As7s and flop comes 7h5h2s. We would want to check this back potentially since when we bet we're not actually that far ahead (not giving any specific strategy advice here just looking for an example).
    Example 2:
    We're SBvB and we 3b As7s vs the BU open. Flop is 7h5h2s. We're going to want to lean towards C betting here because checking this hand and putting it into our bluff catching range is going to leave us quite exposed. This hand can definitely get called by worse and if villain folds and dht ehand ends that's still a pretty good result.
    As you can see, if we're IP having a larger SPR is significantly better. While when we're OOP we want to have a shallow SPR. Having a shallow SPR OOP let's us make smaller mistakes when we CB our weak TPTK hand and get jammed on. when we call it off the mistake is MUCH less severe.
    (I'm using the word mistake here in the theoretical sense not the literal sense. Like it would not be a mistake, but we're occasionally going to put the money in bad and when that happens it's way better to have the shallow SPR).
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