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Three Bet Defence - Cut Off vs Button

It is the classic battle of the machismo: the Cutoff versus the Button. Both players are in late position, both want to steal the blinds, and three-betting becomes par for the course.

We have all been there before in Poker cash games; you are seated in the cutoff, firing away at the sterile blinds, and some big shot turns up on the button and repeatedly three-bets you. What should you do?

In the aggressive games we find ourselves playing in today, most people suggest a four-betting strategy in this spot, but there are always reasons to call.

If you stop and think about your opponents range for a moment, it will be much wider than the one you are deploying from the cutoff.

This means that, when you are three-bet, you can call with hands like AQ, AJ, KQ, KJs and QJs because these hands will be ahead of hands such as AT, KT and QT for example.

Once you decide to call, your post flop play becomes critical. In three bet pots, most players continue their aggression post flop, and you need to be aware of this dynamic when you make the call.

If you flop top pair and your opponent keeps firing, barring a horrible board texture, you are going to have to check-call all three streets.

There are going to be times when your opponents turn up with a better hand, but you are going to pick up a lot of bluffs as well as sending an important message to your opponent: “Pick on someone else!”

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