3-bet Pots Out Of Position Versus Nits

In today's article I'd like to talk about playing out of position versus 3-bets, and more specifically about what to do when the player who 3-bets is very, very tight.

In the hand below you can see me open 88 from the CutOff and the Button 3-bets fairly small giving us a great price on a call (3.36:1 or 23%). Generally, when you're being offered 3:1/25% or better you should be looking to at least call.

Having said that, it isn't always that clear cut.

88 Facing a 3-Bet Out Of Position

Versus such a small 3-bet in a position where the 3-bettor should be light we should be calling with a pretty wide range, something like 99-22, AQs-A2s, K5s+, Q8s+, J8s+, T8s+, 98s, 87s, 76s, 65s, AQo-A9o, KTo+, QTo+, JTo, which is probably all the hands we open minus the hands we choose to 4-bet like TT+,AK.

However, this player does not have a wide 3-bet range. In fact, over a large sample of several hundred hands, his 3-bet was 3%. Do you know what 3% looks like? It's 99+,AKs!!! Now there is every chance that he's feeling a bit frisky today and, given the positions, his range is a bit wider, but it's not going to be that much wider. Maybe we can give him a range of 99+,AQ+ (5.13%) instead.

88 has 35.64% equity versus that range. This means that we need to realise our equity 64.53% of the time, which is going to be tough versus such a tight range that is very unlikely to let me see turns and rivers for free.

To get to that 64.53% number you take your pot odds (23%) and divide it by your equity versus his range (35.64%), so 23/35.64 = 64.53.

If we think we can more realistically realise 60% in this spot then by reverse engineering the numbers we should be defending here with hands that have at least 38.33% equity (23/3*5) versus his range. Using Equilab, our defending range here would be TT+,AKo,AQs+, which feels ridiculously tight, but then our opponent's range is ridiculously tight as well.

You might be thinking that we can call here and try to set mine, which is an ok strategy, but you will have to be careful the times when you flop an overpair and feel compelled to continue. We should be changing the range of hands we can continue with based on what we know about our opponents and we're exploiting this opponent by folding more often preflop.

Good luck out there!

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