Exploitative 3 Bet Value Ranges

TibbsyTibbsy Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
I’m used to 3 betting very wide when villain has a wide open-raise range and/or a high fold-to-3bet frequency. I understand that I should polarise and I have a good handle on what my ranges should look like depending on villains frequencies. This is a big source of profit in my games (10NL full ring).

Where I’m struggling is, when villain has a wide open-raise range and a low fold-to-3bet. I know I should depolarise in this situation and raise a wide value range, but I’m not sure how wide. I need to get a feel for this. I know there’s no one answer to this as it depends on the villain, position and those behind me. The advice I’ve heard several times is that we should raise those hands that are ahead of villain’s calling range (not his opening range).
My question is what does “ahead” mean? Does it mean I can plug villain’s 3 bet calling range into flopzilla/equilab and test a bunch of hands against it - if the hand has 51% or more equity against villain's calling range it can be 3 bet?
If yes, then I will take some time and do this various open-raise ranges, removing hands based on different fold-to-3bet frequencies and get a good feel for where my ranges should be.

We have position and initiative if we 3 bet, but there’s a chance someone wakes up with a monster behind us. I guess these two factors kind of cancel each other out, although in some situations one will be stronger than another.

Best Answer

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,440 -
    Answer ✓
    Some fairly deep topics here. First, the idea that we should polarize our preflop 3-betting range is one that used to be fashionable but is probably wrong. As you note if an opponent has a high raise-fold:raise-call ratio, there's merit in polarizing with hands that have good blockers, but beyond that getting all feisty with little suited connectors rarely ends well. You might be able to make such plays purely exploitatively against someone with the appropriate postflop leaks, but it's never a default IMO.

    As to the definition of "ahead", loosely your explanation is correct, with a couple of caveats.

    The main point is that the EV of a hand is not the same as its equity. Specifically, some hands realize their equity better than others. And critically, it's easier to actualize equity when we have position. So I'm sure you can assign raise-call ranges for a villain against which junk AXo stuff in the SB has more than 50% raw equity, but do you really want to be playing that OOP when you not only have the positional disadvantage, but will also be fretting about domination and reverse-implied odds?

    tl;dr, be careful with preflop equity as a determining metric.
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  • TibbsyTibbsy Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Excellent, thanks for taking the time to answer this. This gives me enough info to go and spend a few hours messing about with ranges in Flopzilla.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,440 -
    With the Flopzilla GTO+ extension, there's actually a feature that shows how the equity and EV differ. That requires you actually having preflop ranges ahead of time, of course, but it's a fascinating way of investigating some of these issues.
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  • TibbsyTibbsy Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
    I recall being shown how to do that in a video, but I can't remember how. Do you have to enter a specific board for the comparison?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,440 -
    Yeah I think for that software to do anything it needs a flop, but it presumably street projects over all turns and rivers. The methodology will be featured in coach w34z3l's next course.
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  • TibbsyTibbsy Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
    I've had a play with Flopzilla, and here are my results:

    Below are: Villains expected calling range as a percentage (open-raise% x 3bet-call%) - followed by the range that I'll 3Bet with.

    6% - JJ+, AK
    12% - 88+, AQs+, AKo
    18% - 77+, AJs+, AJo+
    24% - 66+, ATs+, KQs, ATo+
    32% - 55+, A8s+, KQs, QJs, ATo+, KQo (KQo picked over A9, QJs picked over KJs)
    40% - 44+, A9s+, A2-A5s, KJs+, QJs, JTs, A9o+, KJo+ (A2-A5s picked over A6-A8s)

    This is intended for a rough guide, and only when the fold to 3bet freq is low.
    I've picked the hands that have >50% equity, with a few exceptions (as noted). I didn't want to put too many of the high playability hands in the 3 Bet range, as most will do better in the cold calling range, as the SPR will be lower.

    What do you think? Does that seem reasonable?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,440 -
    I'd have to study it in a bit more detail, plus position is critically important. Not just IP/OOP but the number of players left to act. More broadly I'd suggest there are simply better ways of doing it than this 50% equity heuristic, but those ways likely involve software that isn't cheap.

    Couple of other points. Against an ultra tight range, we can probably move JJ/QQ into a flatting range. We also need to ask how often we get 4-bet. If the 4-bet frequency is low, we can take more liberties with 3-betting.

    Similarly, against very wide opening ranges with low fold-to-3-bet, I'm not personally a fan of 3-betting small pairs, although I know it has been fashionable and may still be.

    Interesting exercise though and all those ranges look at least plausible.
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  • TibbsyTibbsy Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Thank you.
    Yeah, I agree about the small pairs, I might move things about a bit. As it stands it gives me a good idea of the frequencies I should be 3Betting.

    I'm now about to put it into practice.
  • DenisNSmithDenisNSmith Red Chipper Posts: 19 ✭✭
    edited July 2021
    Let's imagine that your villain knows your calling range, and you know his likely opening and calling ranges. He's never going to be happy seeing a call from you, and twice as unhappy to see a raise pre-flop. If you know your calling range outclasses his opening range you should raise if you are in your calling range, or POSSIBLY WITH ANY 2, since he has no information at this point other than your likely hands.

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