We’re going to be talking about the art of 4-betting and how you can use it against opponents. When used effectively, against the right opponent, it can help you increase your win-rate significantly over time. The 4-bet is a betting technique that allows you to take advantage of certain opponents and turn their aggression into a weakness that’s hugely profitable for you.
What Is A 4-Bet
If an opponent re-raises an initial raise, it’s called a 3-bet. Therefore, the 4-bet is made by someone who is ready to re-raise the player who made the 3-bet. We mentioned pre-flop raises because 4-betting is most commonly used before the community cards are displayed, with players 4-betting based upon the strength of their hole cards and that of their opponents. There are various reasons why you might consider 4-betting with your poker hand. For starters, you might wish to extract maximum value from players with poor holdings that simply cannot let go of their hands. You might have the bravery to use a 4-bet as a bluff, but we’ll go into the scenarios where a 4-bet bluff would be most effective shortly.
When & Why You’d Want To 4-Bet
One of the best ways to use the 4-Bet is if you have a premium hand or even “the nuts”. In No Limit Hold’em, I’d always recommend you to play your premium or strong hands aggressively. While slow-playing hands can be beneficial sometimes, playing a hand strongly allows you to build a bigger pot and extract more value from your opponents.
For example, one of the most basic 4-betting spots would be when you’re facing a 3-bet and wake up with AA or KK in the hole. Positionally, a 4-bet should also be employed periodically when you are playing out of position. Although this can seem like a scary leap into the unknown, it can work brilliantly against players that lack the faith in their convictions and tend to fold meekly to aggressors.
Factoring In Your Opponents
Your opponents are going to be essential when it comes to you deciding if you want to go for the 4-Bet or not. 4-betting strategies are usually good against loose aggressive players. It is an important skill to have once you start going higher in stakes. Once you’re deep in tournaments or playing for higher sums of money, 4-betting can really help you maximize your profits.
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Of course, 4-betting is almost pointless when you come up against an absolute rock that plays tight and is not known for folding their good hands, regardless of them being the victim of a 4-bet. However, 4-betting does offer huge value against those loose-aggressive 3-bettors that aren’t afraid to re-raise an initial raiser with a wide range of holdings, not just premium made hands. If you are prepared to 4-bet imposing, aggressive players, it demonstrates to the rest of the table that you aren’t a shrinking violet and you have confidence in your hands and abilities; thereby gaining you respect that can help extract value from hands where you might bluff in the future.
On the flip side, if you come up against an opponent that regularly 4-bets against you after your 3-bet, do bear in mind that you’ll often be getting good odds to flat call. Sometimes, this can be as much as 3 or 4 to 1. If you find that you have 25-30% equity against your opponent’s 4-bet range, it could be a profitable call to make over the long-term.
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It is essential to find the right spots to 4-bet.
This is something which you can obviously learn through experience or studying about ranges and post-flop equities in detail. If you are prepared to take this information on board and use it to your advantage, you should be ready to 4-bet and take your poker game to the next level!