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Three-Betting Strategy vs the Short Stacker

One of the mistakes that poker players make is not adjusting their three-betting strategy based on the stack size of their opponents.

Poker players who want to make the adjustment from recreational player to the WSOP Qualifiers are always after the quick fix. They read books, watch poker on TV, and read on the internet about how training sites will make you the next poker millionaire.

All of this creates the illusion that there is a set way to play, and this trap is eloquently displayed when it comes to three betting ranges.

A good example of a three-betting range would be to three-bet AA-QQ & AK for value and incorporate some suited aces and suited connectors into your bluffing range.

Players who first learn this then go and incorporate this strategy without understanding the full implications of their actions. In short, they forget about opponent tendencies and stack sizes. Let us look at incorporating the three-bet against a player with a 30BB stack.

Imagine you are playing against a short stack and you pick up [Ah] [5h] on the button.

The short stack raises off a 30BB stack from the cutoff and, because you know suited aces formulate a part of your three-betting bluff range, and this opponent has a high three-betting frequency, you three-bet.

This is fine if your three-bet is small, and you are expecting many folds, but you also need to be cognisant of the fact that the short stack will be shoving when he or she hits anything on the flop.

This means you have very little fold equity against the short stacks and should think twice before deploying a by the book type of three-betting line.

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