No Limit Holdem is pretty straightforward game, in which playing aggresive, is one of the most important aspects of it. More and more we hear about 4-bet Ranges and how to balance them. Not long ago, this was considered luxury play or unnecessary complication, as beating games online, was not that hard.
In current days, 4-Betting is crucial, especially if you do not play on poker apps . Games in regular poker sites are much tighter – even recreational players, often show good knowledge of the game and pick their battles carefully. Many inexperienced poker lovers, have low VPIP% , patiently waiting for good cards, to participate in the hands.
In such table dynamics is only normal to open up your 4-bet range a bit and be more aggresive. As you know, in No Limit Holdem, most hands are won , without showdown. Being aggresive and 4-betting bravely is the way to go, if you want to avoid fold fest, in which cards split ties.
Today, you are going to learn which hands to include in your 4-bet range and which hands to avoid, at all costs. Even seasoned players are tempted to put themselves in difficult spots, with marginal hands. The worst thing to do in No Limit Holdem, is put yourself in complicated situation. Yes, sometimes, they are unavoidable, but most of the time, our mistakes and poor hand selection , lead us in car crashes
The list below might surprise you, but most often than not, especially against inexperienced players , 4-betting these hands can only cause you trouble.
Remember ! The idea of 4-betting is either to see the flop with the better hand or make the opponent fold. Your hands which are right there in the middle and you 4-bet them just because they look strong , is a recipe for disaster.
5. Do NOT 4-Bet KQ
This might come as a no-brainer, but most of the time you should not 4-bet this hand. Many hobby players, just look at it, and consider it a strong hand, but in reality, 4-betting this hand is achieving next to nothing. If it gets called, you are almost certainly dominated or tossing a coin. If you receive 5-bet / Jam on the other hand – you just hate your life.
For sure, you can see some world-class pros, 4-bet this and many other hands on this list , but the situation there , is completely different. Pro players consider thousand other things, including hand histories with their opponent, table dynamics and even being extravagant to surprise their opponent. In reality, more often than not, you will end up losing big amount of your money, by 4-betting KQ.
4. Avoid 4-Betting Pocket Nines
This is another obvious choice, but for some reason, many wannabe pros, keep playing with fire. Pocket nines is terrific hand with good showdown value, but you will hate to play it super aggresively in cash games. Again, it is on the bottom of the 4-bet range charts and often when you are called, you are against much better hands or just equally strong hand, such as AK.
The bad news are that AK and other strong aces, are much easier to play, post-flop, than pocket nines. With 99 , chances are flop will bring an over card or even two of them and you will be left wondering, if your opponent paired his hand. Or maybe he had better pair in his hand all along ? You will keep wondering what to do.
Let’s consider the good outcome, in which flop comes – 6 2 8, for example. This is a dream flop for the nines, you would like to end it right here . You bet for value, but chances are, Villain would not just abandon the already invested chips to a C-Bet. Opponent calls ! Turn comes an over card , you bet, get called again. River brings another over card. Now you are almost certainly beat and already invested big amount of money. You check and villain bets big – you face huge decision for almost, all of your stack. Or you bet the river and get called by the better hand.
These are just few scenarios, but they happen very often. Avoid 4-betting this hand and put big amount of your stack at risk with it.
3. Forget 4-Betting JT
JT is the king of flatting. When there is 3-bet and you flat, most often than not you have something along the lines of JTs, QJs, KJ, KT, A9 , 77 , among other hands, with similar strenght.
Trying to be unpredictable and including JT to your 4-Bet Range, is a big mistake. Yes, we mentioned earlier to open u your 4-bet range, but this is best done with other type of hands. Including JT to 4-betting hands is turning your range, into merged one.
Including JT to your hand selection, is not entirely polarizing your range. Best way to polarize your 4-bet range is with hands, which are totally different to those of your opponent. If you try to make extravagant play with JT, your opponent can easily hold AJ or AT (among other better hands) and dominate you.
Another reason, JT is bad 4-betting hand, is that it has great post-flop playability. Yes, this is bad news for you, here is why ! Hitting the flop with JT , is often double edged sword. Even if you have two pairs on flops like ;
Your opponent very likely has pretty large cooler for you. Top of the villain range is consistent of sets and straights, and on the bottom – Pair + Draw. You are in very bad spot even by flopping 2 pairs, with Jack-Ten
2. Including AJ to your 4-bet Range is Big Mistake
Ace – Jack is the second most hated hand, after pocket jacks. With good reason of course. It very deceptively looks strong, but often end up dominated.
When playing against conservative opponents, 4-betting this hand is a no-no. Yes it is high hand, with A kicker, but when it comes to 4-betting – online grinders are very conservative. You will be called or 5-bet/Jammed into only with better hands, or at the best case scenario – equally powerful hands.
This is why the GTO play with AJ is flatting nearly 90% of the time. There is some value in 4-betting suited Ace-Jack, but as we said – marginal hands are only trouble, later on.
1. REMOVE AQ from your 4-Bet Range
This will come as a big surprise. Not only pocket jacks do not spear head one more negative rankings, but we recommend not 4-betting AQ. Here is why ;
- Ace-Queen is premium hand. If you 4-bet and receive 5-bet/Jam, chances are, you will call. 99% of the time you are against – AK, AA, KK, QQ . Almost 0 chance to escape punishment.
- AQ often can win by hitting Top Pair. If you hit the ace and bet big, if opponent is somewhat adequate, will only call with AK. AJ, AT – those can call one C-Bet, but calling all three streets is almost impossible, if the villain is not fish. You can’t extract value with AQ
- If you hit Q, the only other hand, from which you can extract value and is often in 4-bet flat range of your opponent, is KQ. Maybe JJ and TT. From the latter , villain maybe will call one time and for the former depends on the player. But 4-Betting just to hope opponent holds KQ, is not GTO play.
Add These Hands to your 4-Bet Range Instead !
To be ahead of almost all of the competition online, you just need to modify your 3-bet and 4-bet ranges. While 3-betting is not hard to get a hand of, the different lies in the 4-betting frequency and hand selection. Another crucial thing is how you react to 4-bet yourself ! This is why just include the following hands in your 4-Bet range, instead those above. Add;
- 67s – Suited connectors, such as this one , are great to keep the opponents guessing. You increase your 4-bet frequiency, yet polarize your range at the same time. Sex-Seven combo is better 5-6, because you are not that worried of A5s , which villain may hold.
- K6s – Another great option to balance your 4-bet range. You will not commit to this hand, yet you will be dangerous. Flush Draws , or just pair of sixes may be good enough. Difference with KQ is, that you will not commit to your potential top pair , yet you will be unpredictable by having a low card as well. Tom Dwan is big fan of those type of hands – King + Low card. Understandably so. Not common like weak aces, yet almost equally strong. Super easy to fold when you face 5bet, without thinking if it was the correct play. This hand is meant as a 4-bet bluff, but sometimes may win you whole stacks.
How your Final 4-bet Range should look like ?
As you can see we included many bluffs and less value hands than the traditional charts. This way you will be more unpredictable, yet you will have more clarity post flop. Getting it good with the super premium hands only, and 4-bet bluffing with some surprising hands, will make your opponents guessing. Making villain confused, is the fastest way to get his chips. By eliminating from your 4-Bet range marginal hands, such as AJ , you are much less likely to face coolers.
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