How should you react to aggressive 3-bettors?
When it has been folded around to you and you elect to raise from position then you have indirectly told your opponents that your range is quite wide. Everybody knows that nearly all poker players expand their ranges when there are fewer players still to act.
When you raise, what you are actually doing is making the first play in what could be a 3-bet pot. Remember that for your opponent to 3-bet (re-raise) then there must first be a raise. If you make the opening raise then there is the possibility of a 3-bet.
Because many players expect you to raise from position then the more aggressive players will 3-bet you more often and you will need to learn how to handle these types of opponents.
When you raise and are re-raised then you have several options available to you. Position is such a big factor in No-Limit Hold’em that you ideally do not want to call a 3-bet when out of position. So merely folding your weak hands simply keeps you out of trouble. If you have a hand that is towards the top end of your range then you can 4-bet which thus eliminates your opponent’s ability to play their position against you.
When you 4-bet, you are escalating the pot to a level that is indicating that you are potentially committing to the pot. In these instances, your opponent will fold most of their range and you will win the pot uncontested. While 4-betting with the top of your range and folding the rest is a good method to use against 3-bettors, if they are in the blinds then you can possibly call and play some post-flop poker with you having position on them.
Another way to handle aggressive 3-bettors is to simply fold and play tighter pre-flop and to only play hands that you can feel good 4-betting with. There is no shame in leaving the table and finding yourself a softer seat. If you do not feel comfortable in 4-bet pots pre-flop then you can simply play tight poker and go and find yourself a softer game if need be. It is better to do this than to play back incorrectly against your opponent and to call raises when out of position. How you handle players that aggressively re-raise you will go a long way towards defining your overall poker results.
Whether you play full ring or short-handed poker, you will always play more hands from late position than you will from earlier position. Your opponents of course will expect you to do this and the more aggressive ones will take counter strategies against you, one of which is to 3-bet you. In six-max cash games, it is imperative that you counter this strategy correctly. Having opponents that have a positional advantage over you is not going to lead to you being able to play profitable situations and neither is raising too often and then folding to a 3-bet. Playing correctly in 3-bet pots will be vital to your overall chances of making money.