Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Grinding Online - Rush Poker - The Power of the Three-Bet

Share this
Rush Poker on Full Tilt Poker has become a force to be reckoned with in the online world.  For players who want to play hands at an even greater pace than normal, it provides a constant flow of excitement. The only hands you ever watch play out are those in which you are directly participating, and so each session of Rush Poker is like your own personal highlight reel on Sports Center.  Since each hand that you play is almost like a heads-up match with someone with whom you’ve never played before, it is very difficult for another player to get a read on your style, and vice versa. The only information each of you has on the other (unless you have clashed before) is the betting in that specific hand, since neither of you has seen the other play in hands that one of you folded in the past.  This provides the opportunity to make some plays more frequently than you otherwise might, since no one will be able to detect your betting patterns over time.  One of the most powerful of these is the pre-flop three-bet, or re-raise of the initial raiser.

In observing Rush Poker for a few months now, two interesting betting phenomena stand out for me at full-ring tables.  The first is that there is a much greater incidence of raising under-the-gun than in a “normal” game.  I assume this is due to the power represented by a bet in such an early position, coupled with the tendency of most Rush Poker players to avoid marginal pre-flop situations (after all, why bother to play against a stated powerful hand when you can just fold and move on to a better opportunity).  The second is that if the action is folded around to the button, that player will raise close to 80% of the time (this is true to a lesser extent from the cutoff position as well, which sees a higher than usual raising percentage in un-entered pots.  Remember: “the cutoff is the new button.”).  

These situations provide a unique opportunity for the players still to act after the initial raiser, particularly for the player in the big blind!  While in a typical normal-paced ring game, the big blind is at a distinct disadvantage, since he acts before the other players (except the small blind) for the remainder of the hand, in Rush Poker, he can use that very fact to push players off of their hands pre-flop.  The way to do this is by simply three-betting the pot, representing a very powerful starting hand.

What is important to realize in making this move is the range of hands that the player on the button is playing.  With such a huge percentage of raises made in that position, the vast majority of the hands being raised with are garbage.  Therefore, as the big blind, you have two ways of approaching the situation.  The first is to simply expand the range of hands with which you three-bet.  If you would ordinarily make that move only with premium pairs (10-10 through A-A) and A-K, add the other pairs as well as aces down to about A-7.  Almost all of these hands will be way ahead of most of the junk your opponent holds, and most of the time, he will be folding to your re-raise.

The second way to deal with the button raiser is to three-bet 100% of the time!  While this may seem like an extremely radical approach, consider what your bet represents.  Remember, first and foremost, that in most situations in Rush Poker, this player has NEVER seen you make this move; therefore he is most likely to take the bet at face value.  He will almost be forced to put you on a big hand, and unless he also has something huge (or is a very skilled post-flop player who doesn’t mind going to war with likely the worst of it as long as he has position), he will fold almost all of the time.  It will not be unusual for you to force a fold at least 4 out of 5 times, regardless of what you actually hold in your hand.  

Examining the numbers, we see that, assuming a 3x raise from the button, your raise to 9x will take down the 4 ½ big blinds in the pot four times (18 big blinds total) for every time that the button either calls or four-bets.  If he puts in an additional raise, you lose nine big blinds, for a net profit of 9 big blinds for every five times you put in that three-bet.  If he just calls, you still have the opportunity to take down the pot if you hit a big flop.

Once you are comfortable with this move, you can look to throw in a three-bet against under-the-gun and cutoff raisers as well.  While you shouldn’t be quite as cavalier with those re-raises as against players on the button, you also don’t necessarily need pocket aces or kings to try and exert pressure, as both positions see more light raises in Rush Poker than in a regular game.  Against the cutoff, you can certainly add most pairs and high card combinations like A-J and K-Q and be pretty confident that you have the better hand most of the time.  As far as pushing back against an under-the-gun raiser is concerned, it would be useful to take notes on players whenever you see them make this move, so that you can get a sense of how frequently they might be using it.  If you see someone getting frisky just a little too often from first position, make him pay for it.

Adapting to the unique conditions of Rush Poker can take some time, but as you get more comfortable with the pace of play, as well as the fact that players will fold most marginal hands, you can play more aggressively pre-flop than you might at a full ring game where every one of your moves is seen by everyone at the table.  Use the mystery of an unknown table image to your advantage, and watch your profits increase.

See you at the tables!

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed