What is a 3-Bet in Poker?
The simple definition and the most commonly used 3-bet term refers to the initial re-raise before the flop.
When someone opens a pot by raising and you decide to re-raise, that action is a 3-bet, and you are considered a 3-better in this hand no matter what happens next.
While the three-betting term is also used in post-flop situations, whenever you hear a 3-bet name, you can assume it refers to a preflop spot as a rule of thumb.
To understand the logic behind the term, you need to visualize the following:
- The blinds as the first bet
- The original raiser opening the pot is making the second bet
- The re-raiser makes the third bet, thus 3-betting
This move can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal for building bigger pots when you have strong hands, bluffing and making your opponent fold superior holdings, and isolating players to play a heads-up pot.
Poker 3-Bet Example:
You are playing a $1/$2 cash game and sitting on the button with JJ. Everyone folds to the Cut Off who decides to raise $6, and since you are holding a strong hand, you decide to re-raise, so you are making a 3-bet.
Usually, the blinds will fold, and the action will return to the original raiser. If he folds, you win the pot right there. If he decides to re-raise again and make a 4-bet, the action comes back to you. Even if he calls, you play a 3-bet pot and will have a position on your opponent for the rest of the hand, making 3-betting a powerful move and giving you initiative and the range advantage.