[FTR Quick Tip 006] 3-Betting, Part 3: Merging


Hey, guys. This is Mike1013 for Flop Turn
River. In my last video, I discussed how weメre going to react against players who fold to
a lot of 3-bets, and the answer was to 3-bet monster hands, and also 3-bet a wide range
of bluffy hands that you cannot cold call with.
In this video, Iメm going to examine how weメre going to react against players who
continue to a lot of 3-bets, especially players who continue by calling with a wide range.
Now, it seems to me that a large category of players who call 3-bets a lot are not very
good players. Theyメre fish. Theyメre calling stations. They just have a hand they like,
and theyメre going to proceed. Almost, no matter what you do, they want to see the flop,
and see if they can get lucky, or see if their handメs best.
Against these types of players, youメll want to 3-bet hands that are favored against the
range that they have for continuing to the 3-bet, and you want to have almost no bluffing
range at all. This means that youメre going to be 3-betting hands that you might not 3-bet
against a more competent opponent, things like pocket tens, or Ace-Jack suited, that
perhaps are better played for a cold call against players who fold a lot to 3-bets,
are, in fact, very fine hands to 3-bet for value, against a player whoメs going to be
continuing with even worse hands. When you do identify a player with these tendencies,
that is, he likes to call a lot of 3-bets, and is, in general, a calling station, you
can size up the size of your 3-bet a little bit. You donメt need to restrict yourself
to a 3x, or even 3.5x 3-bet. If you make it 4x, and you think heメll call, or a 4.5x,
and you think heメll call, thatメs just more value from your hands, which beat his
range. Now, the kind of range that weメre going
to be betting against these players, that is a range with monsters, with good hands,
and with some okay, but not great hands. It is often referred to as a depolarized range,
or a merged range. You may be wondering, however, if weメre expanding our value 3-betting range,
and donメt really have a 3-bet bluffing range, doesnメt that make our hand transparent?
Doesnメt our opponent know exactly what weメre doing?
Well, not really, if heメs a fish. Against competent regs, though, who are continuing
to a lot of your 3-bets, you are going to want to have some bluffs in your merged 3-betting
range. Now, why would a reg continue to a lot of your 3-bets? Well, thereメs several
reasons. Some regs just feel comfortable playing in 3-bet pots, and donメt have a problem
calling 3-bets. Other regs, if youメve already bluffed them, or just 3-bet them a few times,
are going to get suspicious, and they might decide to start calling against your 3-bets.
Another thing that induces regs to call more 3-bets is if they have position on you, so
when youメre out of position, and theyメre on the button, letメs say, they might be
induced to call more of your 3-bets than they otherwise would. Once youメve identified
a reg, who, for whatever reason, is calling a lot of your 3-bets, you can, most of the
time, add a few bluffs into your merged 3-betting range.
Now, the hands you decide to do this with should tend to flop decently well, and not
be horribly dominated against your opponentメs range. Something like 10-7 suited, or maybe,
9-8 off-suit, or Ace-7 suited, basically hands that arenメt quite good enough to cold call,
but still have some decent chances post-flop, in case you do get a call. You want to stay
away from disconnected off-suit hands, like Ace-6 off, or broadways that are easily dominated,
like King-10 off-suit. This is different from the range we were using to 3-bet polarized
against guys who fold to 3-bets a lot. There are a couple of reasons for this difference.
First, blockers donメt really matter that much when youメre up against an opponent
whoメs going to be calling a lot. No matter what blockers you have, his range is sufficiently
wide that you arenメt going to be inducing him to fold enough, that you can make an instant
profit on your 3-bet. This first reason is related to the second reason why you donメt
like these junky, disconnected hands, which is that heメs calling a lot, so youメre
going to have to play a lot of flops, so you want to have the chance to flop very good
equity, or make a monster, or hit a board that he doesnメt expect is in your range.
Now, youメre relying on a combination of fold equities to make these bluffs plus EV,
the initial fold equity of your 3-bet, and the post-flop equity of boards that youメre
going to C-bet, so the amount of bluffs you can get away with depends a lot on your opponentメs
tendencies. If you arenメt sure, itメs probably best not to have many of these types of bluffs
in your range. So, thatメs an overview of 3-betting a merged
range, when, and why, and how you should do it. Now, I realize, my last couple of videos
have been a bit light on example hand histories, so Iメve made a video consisting solely of
example hand histories, illustrating many of these 3-betting points that Iメve been
talking about. Be sure to check it out. Later, guys.

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