Exploring Reraise Strategies in Texas Hold ’Em

by Jul 22, 2019Poker News

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A common concern when learning to play Texas Hold ’em is knowing when to reraise, also known as a three-bet, before the flop.  

There isn’t an easy answer – the strategy has to depend on how your opponents are playing.  

Blindly reraising in the same range every hand will only result in a significant loss of your stack.

Reraising can be either polarized or linear.   A polarized reraise typically includes the best possible hands and a couple of other hands that don’t quite have the strength to call a preflop raise.  Reraising a polarized range can be particularly advantageous against opponents who you feel will either four-bet or fold.

Many of the top players are part of this group and it’s important to understand that the hand’s post-flop playability doesn’t really impact the bet, since, in many occasions, the flop will never be seen. 

A linear reraise only sees the very best hands played.  Ideally, this type of reraise is used against players who will call even though you have a significantly dominating hand.  Additionally, only those players with absolute crushers will four-bet you. Almost all players who stick to small-stake tables and those who bet consistently, without varying their game, fall into this category.

For instance, if a loose, small-stakes player raises from middle position to three major blinds out of his 100-big blind stack and you are in the cutoff or on the button, think about reraising with a linear range.  Your rival will most likely call with numerous hands you can beat, for example, pocket 3s, suited A-4 or K-10, and just four-wager with an A, K-K, Q-Q or A-K.

Your methodology against these players is unimaginably basic and natural.  When they call your reraise, you extract enormous value and when they four-wager, you get set free.

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Both the linear and the polarized range examples demonstrate about 9% of all possible hands.  This number should not be considered a definitely guideline – players can reraise the same percentage of hands while they hold different ranges.  It is foolish and dangerous to assume that players who are reraising do so because they always have the same set of hands. 

Actually, the case for a polarized range could include a completely different set of hands worthy of a bluff.  You ought to be increasingly disposed to three-bet with hands containing a “blocker” (an ace or ruler) versus players who will more likely than not four-wager or fold. 

If you hold an A or a K in a hand with which you plan to bluff, your opponents will unlikely have a dominating hand since there is one fewer A or K in the deck. If going up against a player who might call your reraise, three-bet a range that includes suited connectors because you need to be prepared to play at least through the flop.

Understand that when you reraise with a polarized range, you are calling with numerous hands that work well on the flop – 6-6, A-J, suited 7-6 or Q-10, etc.  Calling with these hands enables you to understand their post-flop value instead of three-betting them and after that being compelled to fold if faced with a four-bet. 

As with any play at the felt, the first question you have to ask yourself before making a move is, how will my opponent respond.  This will help you determine how to proceed and how to properly take advantage of three-bets to conquer the game.

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