As we discussed in the previous Lesson, it is probably a good idea for most low-stakes players to do a little less calling preflop, and a little more 3-Betting.

However, the mistake that many novice players make is that they 3-Bet in a completely unbalanced manner. They only 3-Bet with their very premium hands.

This leads to a transparent and exploitable preflop plan.

For now, we are going to keep it simple and show why it is problematic if you do not balance your 3-betting with super premium hands with a few less-than-premium hands.

If you only ever 3-Bet with very good hands, your opponents can easily fold to your 3-Bets with their medium-to-strong hands. These are the hands that you likely dominate, and thus want action from. When you are deep-stacked, your opponents can call your 3-Bets with a wide range of speculative hands, and play perfectly against your tight range by either folding when they miss, or making big hands and putting you in very difficult spots.

It can be a very uncomfortable position to go to the flop, with lots of money left behind, when you fear that your opponent has a very good idea of the small number of hands that you may hold.

Many low-stakes players are often overly concerned with the idea of “deception”. They are constantly looking for ways to fool or confuse their opponents. In general, this notion is way overemphasized in low-stakes poker, where the easiest way to make money will be by simply betting your strong hands for value.

  • However, a balanced 3-Betting range is one place where this “deception” is, in fact, important, and fairly easy to implement.

3-Betting with some middling suited connectors, for example, is very important for board coverage. Board Coverage basically boils down to the fact that you want to be capable of having strong hands on all types of flops and run-outs.

  • If you only ever 3-Bet with pocket Jacks or better, then you’ll have a real difficult time maneuvering, or getting value, on flops like 6-7-8 suited.  

In order to get maximum value out of your premium hands, you will want to mix in some 3-Betting with lesser hands.

  • This can be with hands more towards the bottom of your range, like Eight-Seven suited or Ace-Five suited, for example, or it can be hands more in the middle, like King-Queen or Ace-jack.