What is 3-betting and 4-betting?

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1: What is 3-betting and 4-betting?

This is one of those questions that everyone thinks they know the answer to, but is frequently misunderstood.

The numbers refer to the level or tier of the betting. It has nothing to do with the size of the bets chosen, nor the number of players involved.

The first tier preflop is the posting of the blinds - the 1-bet if you like. Then, as soon as someone raises, this bet is known as a raise - the 2-bet, or second tier. If another player re-raises, that is commonly referred to as a 3-bet, as the betting has reached its third tier. The same is then true for 4-betting and 5-betting. Any calls in between raises do not increase the betting tier.

Blinds - 1-bet

Raise - 2-bet

Reraise - 3bet

Rereraise - 4bet

Rerereraise - 5bet

Note that the size of the bets has no bearing on the tiers, so if a player simply pushes all in preflop as his open raise, this bet is at the “2” level.

Postflop, no blinds are posted, so the betting tiers start from scratch. Often, I hear players refer to a postflop bet as a raise, or a raise as a 3-bet, when in fact it follows the same simple structure:

Bet/Raise/Reraise = 1-bet/2-bet/3-bet

Learning to use this terminology correctly will enable you to communicate accurately about poker with others and avoid misunderstandings.