3-Bet Jam 98s Off 20bb

In a lesson the other day, I was working on widening my student's 3-bet jamming range off 20bb versus late position opens. He was way too tight in these positions and had a mental barrier in widening this range. His argument was that he didn't want to risk his stack with hands that are always behind when called.

Some of you may share this thought process and in this week's article I'm going to show you why that's a mistake.

The key thing here is, "... when you get called."

When you have 20bb in the Big Blind facing a Button open you have a tremendous amount of fold equity. Most players are opening too wide from late position as they believe that their opponents in the blinds are going to have to wake up with a hand to fight back. Well, now is the time to wake up with a hand that's much wider than they're expecting. If someone is opening 38.2%, 66+ Ax K2s+ K9o+ Q5s+ Q9o+ J7s+ J9o+ T7s+ T9o 96s+ 86s+ 75s+ 64s+ 54s from the Button you can profitably jam almost 30% of the deck in an equilibrium world where the Button calls correctly (about 22% of hands).

3b BB vs BTN

If they're only continuing with 22% out of the original 40% they're folding 45% of the time.

22/40 = 55%, so 1-0.55 = 0.45 or 45%

Now you can ask the question:

"How many of your opponents are calling your 3b jam with 21.7%, 66+ A2s+ A4o+ K9s+ KTo+ QTs+ JTs here?"

Chances are that most of them are calling much tighter, which means that most of these hands instantly become even more profitable.

Another reason to shove wider is that your opponents will be forced to call you wider, which in turn means that the EV of your best hands goes up. Let's say that you only shove 14.6%, 22+ A5s+ A8o+ KJs+ instead in this spot. In a perfect world our opponent would only call 8.9%, 66+ ATs+ ATo+ and the EV of our shove would be as follows:

Now before you start thinking that it's really that profitable to shove 32o here, the program (Holdem Resources Calculator) is now just adjusting for the Button's tighter calling range as a result of you shoving much tighter than perhaps you should. Don't shove 32o!!!

Take a look at the best hands in your range now. AA is +7.04 and KK is +6.16. Now compare these to the EV of shoving much wider in the graphic even further up. AA is +10.6 and KK is +8.49. As soon as you start shoving wider in these spots you will win more money the times when you actually have a strong hand because your opponents will start adjusting and call you much wider. And while it's true that most of the time your 98s will be behind, you still have 39.67% vs AKo and 49% vs 77 so it's not all doom and gloom.

If you only ever 3-bet shove strong hands here, the chances are you are not maximising your EV and getting the most profit in these situations.

Good luck out there!

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