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.
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 Texas Holdem 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 small blind and the big blind 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.