Pocket Pairs In Three Bet Pots on A or K High Boards From The SB

Matthew BMatthew B Red Chipper Posts: 31 ✭✭
edited March 2017 in General Concepts
Hello All,

This is my first post on the Red Chip Poker Forum love the content on this site. I just wanted to discuss playing pocket pairs in 3Bet pots. Lets say we are in the small blind and we have 55-QQ. We are facing a CO open I find myself 3Betting all of this because I don't want to just call OOP and have to play a medium pocket pair OOP with a worse range than our opponent. Okay so lets say we 3Bet and get called by the CO. The Flop is A high or K high is it fine to just forget about showdown value and turn most of them into bluffs? I find almost every time I check the flop in these spots my opponent bets. I understand that you could mix in some checks with strong hands to balance it out but check calling the rest of the way could miss a lot of value if they check back some streets. Would the best line be to check raise the lower pocket pairs as bluffs and also take this line with monsters? How about TT-QQ, are we fine with just check calling? I just find myself playing a little too face up in these spots and wanted to see some other opinions.

Thank You!

Comments

  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    First off, welcome!!

    Second, great question which, unfortunately, leads me to more questions.

    Why are you 3betting? Do you always 3bet with these hands or only against specific villains and/or a certain number of villains?

    Say that you flop a set. How you would you usually play that?

    What is your table image?

    Finally -- though most important -- what are the stack sizes of everyone involved in the pot?

    In general, I would 3bet here only against villains who tend to raise too often in late position. Then I would almost always follow with a cbet.

    Otherwise, I tend to flat-call and set-mine (depending on stack sizes).

    This, of course, generates one final question: what is your plan if/when V 4bets / shoves?

    Again, welcome!!
  • Matthew BMatthew B Red Chipper Posts: 31 ✭✭
    I'm not really talking about a specific situation I understand that getting 4bet could put us in some tougher spots. I just think that the CO or BU open range is wide due to trying to steal. Calling takes the top of our range off. I'm not 3betting against nits or people who can't hand read. As far as stack sizes I don't really do this unless we're over 100bbs deep. How I play sets is depending on villain and board texture. I guess there's no clear answer to my question.
  • Ranceg29Ranceg29 Red Chipper Posts: 145 ✭✭
    Not sure i can answer your exact question but i can add this.

    When I 3 bet from the blinds i size larger hoping to encourage folds since hopefully im relying on my read that their open is a weaker range to begin with. If we find ourselves going to the flop too often in these spots we're probably doing something wrong.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome Matt.

    Moishe is setting you on the right track.
    For you to predetermine that you're going to 3-bet 55-QQ to a CO raise from the SB... is just plain silly.

    Your 3-bets should be part of a strategy... they should have a purpose.
    3-betting because you have two pretty cards in front of you is not a strategy.

    Take a step back and think:
    why should you 3-bet?
    what part of CO's range will call your 3-bet?
    how's your hot/cold equity do against his 3-bet calling range?
    what would you do if he 4-bets?
    what boards should you bet? check/fold? check/call? check/raise.

    If you're going to 3-bet 55-AA... which is 60 combos... will you have at least 60 combos of "bluff" in your 3-bet to be balanced?
    Aside from AK & AQ (32 combos) you're gonna have to dig around for a lot of hands to make your SB 3-bets profitable.

    If you find yourself in tough spots bluff-catching, or check/folding or playing face-up, it's because you haven't created a strategy yet that moves your from playing bingo! to playing poker.

    BTW... all this is assuming that you're playing live, full-ring at a casino.
    If you're playing 6-max online... ignore everything after "Welcome Matt!"
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    kagey wrote: »
    If you're going to 3-bet 55-AA... which is 60 combos... will you have at least 60 combos of "bluff" in your 3-bet to be balanced?

    I don't want to derail this thread, in particular because @kagey and I are offering the same basic message. But, this jumped out me.

    @kagey: do you really believe that you need a 1:1 hand-to-"bluff" ratio? That seems FAR too high to me... I want the minimum number of bluffs so that the doubt enters my opponents' minds enough for them to pay me off for my good hands. If it's 50-50, then I'm winning as much as I'm losing...
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @kagey: do you really believe that you need a 1:1 hand-to-"bluff" ratio?
    Actually this is a very conservative ratio.
    I think guys like @Faustovaldez123 or @persuadeo might advocate for a larger ratio.
  • RCP Coach - Fausto ValdezRCP Coach - Fausto Valdez RCP Coach Posts: 859 ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @Matthew B the same reasons u described is the same reason u should bet most of ure pairs on A or K high boards followed by disconnected cards. Reason is if u dont, u cap the rest of ure range and yes you do become face up and aggressive players will attack you for that exact reason

    You could also XR flops as u mentioned as a form of defense to players who have a high continue frequency post flop but ure gonna have to do it with TP also so you dont become to face up

    And @kagey im not one to advocate balancing to much but if u are 1:1 is to tight on flop 2:1 or 3:1 on some flop textures is more appropriate
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  • david wdavid w Red Chipper Posts: 54 ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Two things.

    1. Form a GTO stand point. This is bet size, stack size ect. dependent. I believe it is correct to have 2 bluffs for every value 3 bet. I'm not say this is how you should play but...

    2. Checking A and K high flops does not cap your range. How you play A and K high flops may.

    Your 3 bet range should be smaller then your overall range. A smaller range should be easer to balance and one thing you need to consider is how you can protect a hand like QQ on A and K high flops.
  • RCP Coach - Fausto ValdezRCP Coach - Fausto Valdez RCP Coach Posts: 859 ✭✭✭✭
    david w wrote: »
    Two things.

    1. Form a GTO stand point. This is bet size, stack size ect. dependent. I believe it is correct to have 2 bluffs for every value 3 bet. I'm not say this is how you should play but...

    2. Checking A and K high flops does not cap your range. How you play A and K high flops may.

    Your 3 bet range should be smaller then your overall range. A smaller range should be easer to balance and one thing you need to consider is how you can protect a hand like QQ on A and K high flops.

    i disagree
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  • david wdavid w Red Chipper Posts: 54 ✭✭
    david w wrote: »

    i disagree

    If I'm wrong it would be really helpful to know what I'm missing.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And @kagey im not one to advocate balancing to much but if u are 1:1 is to tight on flop 2:1 or 3:1 on some flop textures is more appropriate

    Janda recommends Three 3-bet bluffs for every Two 3-bets for value.
    3:2...

    everybody's different.
    my point was simply only have pps as a 3-bet range is a whacked way of looking about poker ranges....
  • Matthew BMatthew B Red Chipper Posts: 31 ✭✭
    You guys all seem a lot more knowledgeable on the subject. My default reason for 3betting is because the LP open will have wider ranges and it is hard to play medium pocket pairs OOP against a PF Raiser w/o flopping a set. I feel like just blasting every A or K high board is bluffing too much. I understand that balancing it out by mixing in some top pairs or sets in our checking range can make a check a better play. I guess the correct answer would be bluffing some and XC some and XR some as bluffs. Thanks for all the input.
  • YoshYosh Red Chipper Posts: 580 ✭✭✭
    There is a 3rd option when you don't want to call and you don't want to raise.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    @kagey and @faustovaldez123 re: bluff to hand ratio.

    Maybe I confused the issue. I meant that my pre-flop OOP bluff ratio should include enough bluffs to get paid off on my better hands. (Of course, this is Villain dependent...) Is this where you are advocating the 3:2 ratio? POST-flop, I agree that I can and should be the aggressor at more than a 1:1 ratio.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @kagey and @faustovaldez123 re: bluff to hand ratio.

    Maybe I confused the issue. I meant that my pre-flop OOP bluff ratio should include enough bluffs to get paid off on my better hands. (Of course, this is Villain dependent...) Is this where you are advocating the 3:2 ratio? POST-flop, I agree that I can and should be the aggressor at more than a 1:1 ratio.
    yes... this is all pre-flop discussion
    it really depends on your games and the table dynamics
    guys raising pre are flatting all 3-bets, then you might adjust your ratio
    or if they take down the pot uncontested, then you might want to increase the ratio

    I'm not advocating for any specific ratio...
    I was just trying to point out to OP that by creating a 3-bet range of all pocket pairs from the blinds because he doesn't know what to do on most flops is a strategy that's likely to fail.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    @kagey and @faustovaldez123 re: bluff to hand ratio.

    Maybe I confused the issue. I meant that my pre-flop OOP bluff ratio should include enough bluffs to get paid off on my better hands. (Of course, this is Villain dependent...) Is this where you are advocating the 3:2 ratio? POST-flop, I agree that I can and should be the aggressor at more than a 1:1 ratio.
    yes... this is all pre-flop discussion
    it really depends on your games and the table dynamics
    guys raising pre are flatting all 3-bets, then you might adjust your ratio
    or if they take down the pot uncontested, then you might want to increase the ratio

    I'm not advocating for any specific ratio...
    I was just trying to point out to OP that by creating a 3-bet range of all pocket pairs from the blinds because he doesn't know what to do on most flops is a strategy that's likely to fail.

    Gotcha. Thanks.

    I knew that we were on the same page from the beginning but I lost myself in the ratio tree. I'm back to the forest :).

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