How to Avoid Overreacting to Frequent Three-Bettors

How to Avoid Overreacting to Frequent Three-Bettors

It's common for poker players to be disinclined to fold hands once they have put money in the middle. This is especially true of lesser skilled players who find it difficult to let go of their hands — or hit the fold button if playing online poker — once they've committed chips.

For some that stubbornness sometimes gets compounded in hands players have raised preflop only to be reraised by an opponent. Even those with more experience can be guilty of not recognizing spots when they are better off folding than calling three-bets or making four-bets.

Poker pro and Pete "Carroters" Clarke addresses this problem of reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to a three-betting opponent in his latest "Poker Pitfalls" video for PokerStars School, "Overreacting to 3-Bettors."

As Clarke explains, it's easy to get carried away thinking we have to "take a stand" and react "right here, right now" to an aggressive player three-betting us yet again over our open.

One way to avoid getting influenced emotionally in these spots is instead to think about where your hand falls within your given range of hands, noting whether it is near the top, in the middle, or at the bottom, and playing accordingly with an understanding you don't have to defend against every three-bet.

Clarke gives the example of opening with {k-Diamonds}{j-Spades} from the hijack in a six-handed game and getting three-bet by an aggro reg on the button, explaining how to proceed rationally rather than responding with emotion to the three-bet. He also provides advice about how folding a hand like king-jack offsuit here doesn't have to represent being exploited by an aggressive opponent. Take a look:

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