Three Betting From the BlindsMonday, October 31st, 2011 by Ryan
Three betting or continuation betting is one thing that we love to harp on, mainly because many people love to overlook it! It’s an excellent option to pick up some picks and build your stack during a poker tournament. Today, we are going to talk about three betting from the small blind or the big blind. Take this example to start it off. You are in the small blind and the player one spot before the button raises to 2.5 times the big blind. You decide to three-bet from there, and put the pressure back on your opponent. At this point, what can your opponent really call you with, in a situation where they want to build their stack and get as deep in a tournament as possible? Well, I can tell you that when you three-bet at an opponent, it makes them have to fold a wide range of their hands. It’s very important to remember that this is focused on tournament play, and that three-betting in cash games will most likely result in getting quite a bit more action, so you can’t do it with as wide of a range of hands as you normally could.
The best thing about three betting in these situations, is that you can raise a wide range of hands. But there are a few things to consider when you are looking to three-bet from the small or big blind. The first thing is the size of your chip stack. If you are sitting with a short stack and don’t really have the chips to be able to three-bet lightly, you really can’t do this often, or really at all. Three-betting to build your stack and pick up some quick chips should really be taken advantage of when you have a big stack, and can still feel comfortable if your opponent actually turns up to have a big hand.
Another thing to take into consideration is where your opponent made the original raise from. If your opponent raised from under the gun, or from middle position, you have to strongly consider what they are raising from that spot from. It is much more likely that another player has a strong hand if they are raising from earlier position. If your opponent is on the button or in late position, there is a very good chance they are making the raise to steal the blinds, and you’ll have a good chance to be able to not only get the other blind, but also to steal their original raise.
Realistically, it’s a good idea to be sure that you leave yourself over 30 or 35 big blinds after your three-bet in order to be sure that you can still play and pick your spots throughout the remainder of the tournament. Also, you should not three-bet from the blinds too often, especially if you have been at the same table for a while, or you play with the players at your table often. Players could definitely four bet if they can get a read on your play, and it’s of course best to just avoid that at all if possible!