What is 4-betting?
If you’re looking to take your poker game to the next level, mastering the art of 4-betting is a great place to start. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of 4-betting in poker, including what it is, when to use it, and how to do it effectively.
What is 4-betting?
To understand 4-betting, we need to first define what we mean by “betting.” In poker, a bet is when you put chips into the pot in order to make other players pay to see the next card. A 4-bet, then, is when you make the fourth bet in a sequence of bets in a given hand.
Here’s an example to illustrate:
Player A raises to $10.
Player B re-raises (or “3-bets”) to $30.
Player C folds.
Player A 4-bets to $100.
Player B folds.
In this scenario, Player A made a 4-bet when they raised to $100 after Player B’s initial 3-bet. This is different from a “call,” where you simply match the amount of the previous bet without raising it any further.
So why would you want to 4-bet in the first place? There are a few reasons:
To put pressure on your opponents: By 4-betting, you force your opponents to make a tough decision. They now have to decide whether to call, fold, or re-raise, which puts them in a tougher spot than if they had simply called your initial bet or your 3-bet.
To build a bigger pot: If you have a strong hand and think your opponent is likely to call or re-raise, 4-betting can help build an even larger pot. This can lead to bigger winnings if you end up winning the hand.
To balance your range: In order to be a successful poker player, you need to have a balanced range of hands. By 4-betting with both strong and weak hands, you make it more difficult for your opponents to read your hand and exploit your tendencies.
When to 4-bet?
Of course, you don’t want to 4-bet every hand you play – that would be a reckless strategy. Instead, you should look for situations where 4-betting is likely to be profitable. Here are a few factors to consider:
Position: 4-betting is generally more effective when you’re in later positions (such as the cutoff or button) than when you’re in early position. This is because you have more information about your opponents’ actions before you have to make a decision.
Opponent tendencies: If you’re playing against players who are likely to fold to 4-bets, then it can be profitable to 4-bet with a wider range of hands. Conversely, if your opponents are likely to re-raise your 4-bets frequently, then you should be more selective with your 4-betting range.
Stack sizes: When deciding whether to 4-bet, you should also consider the size of your opponents’ stacks. If your opponent has a small stack, they may be more likely to go all-in after your 4-bet, which could put you in a tough spot.
4-betting is a powerful tool in any poker player’s arsenal. By putting pressure on your opponents, building bigger pots, and balancing your range, you can gain an edge over your opponents and win more money at the poker table. Just remember to use this strategy selectively and thoughtfully, and always be aware of your opponents range.
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