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4-betting preflop

Phil Ivey, a poker star When to put a 4 bet in before the flop?

An ideal time to put in a 4 bet before the flop is when you either have a monster hand that you aren’t folding no matter what like AA, KK, or AK suited or a hand like AQ, AJ, TT, or 99, where you can lay it down if you get 5 bet.

If you have a big pocket pair you shouldn’t look to just call a 3 bet before the flop. You want to get the most money in the pot. To do that means you have to 4 bet. If you get 5 bet you can easily call and double your stack up.

If you want to get a lot of chips and apply the most pressure to aggressive players you have to come over the top of them. The reason is because if you are sitting with an aggressive player who is 3 betting constantly, if you 4 bet them a couple of times that player will stop picking on your pre-flop raises.

You want to put your opponent to the test as opposed to them putting you to the test. It is the nature of poker, and if you are the one that has to make tough decisions all the time then you will be the one who is more stressed out and most likely be the player who tilts off a large amount of money.

Putting in a 4 bet will allow you to basically polarize what your hand range could be and put your opponent to a test with a limited hand range to shove over the top with.

If you have been sitting at a table for a good period of time and never 4 bet once, your opponent will instantly assume you have a monster hand. Your opponent will most likely fold in this case. However, if you have been raising some hands and playing rather aggressive you will get action when you put in a 4 bet before the flop.

If you attempt to run an opponent over with 4 betting and have been playing very aggressive you will most likely end up losing some big pots, committing your stack to hands you aren’t thrilled with.

The best way to go about making 4 bets is by establishing a relatively aggressive table image. This way you will be able to win big pots and apply the max amount of pressure to your opponents in any given hand.

Also, a 4 bet should not be a stack committing bet. It should be most likely a little more than double what your opponent has chosen to 3 bet. If you are playing in a 1/2 NL Holdem game and you open to $8, and your opponent 3 bets to $25, your 4 bet should be $50-$65.

This is a pretty standard 4 bet because it will not commit a monster portion of chips and it will give you the information you need to move further in the hand.

A 4 bet is an information gathering bet. It will tell you if you are getting 3 bet light and it will tell you who is capable of folding hands like AQ, or pocket tens.

Use 3-betting preflop cautiously, otherwise your opponents will rapidly notice your bluffs and you will have to answer to their 5-betting light.


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