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Three-Betting Preflop

It yields profitable situations in the long run

by Barry Tanenbaum |  Published: Jun 11, 2009


The amount of preflop raising distinguishes middle-limit hold’em games from lower ones. Many lower-limit games feature lots of preflop limping. While this happens occasionally in middle-limit games, someone raises preflop most of the time. When you get into still higher limits, you see a new phenomenon developing: the frequent use of the preflop three-bet. Much of the time in the middle limits, you see a preflop raise, and then some callers. At the higher limits, you more often see a preflop raise followed by a reraise. Why is this? Is it just the money pressure? Do higher-limit players play only really good hands after a raise? Or, is there some theoretical reason why three-betting is more prevalent among more elite company? We will look at three aspects of this idea: 1. The theoretical underpinning, which is “raise or fold.” 2. Exceptions, when you should not raise or fold. 3. Why ...

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