Poker Strategy

Take the Leap and Cold 4-Bet in Your Poker Games

In poker games, recognizing when it’s appropriate to cold 4-bet is essential for any player looking to maximize their win rate. Cold 4-betting involves raising a pre-flop raise with more than your normal three-bet. It can be a powerful tool in cash games and tournaments by allowing players to gain the upper hand over their opponents. However, it must be used judiciously, or you risk unnecessarily burning through chips.

In this article, we’ll discuss when and why you should consider cold 4-betting to increase your chances at the poker table.

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How to Explain Cold 4-Bet

A cold 4-bet is a 4-bet placed during the initial betting round and is the player’s first move in the hand. A cold 4-bet in Texas Hold’em is when the cutoff open-raises, followed by the button player re-raising (3-bets), and the small blind re-raises again.

Because the small blind did nothing else in the hand before placing the 4-bet, the action is called coming cold. Instead, if the cutoff 4-bets after raising the pot, it would not be considered a cold 4-bet because the cutoff has already raised the pot earlier in the same hand.

Why Use Cold 4-Bet in Poker?

Cold 4-betting can be a powerful tool in poker because it allows players to gain the upper hand over their opponents by forcing them to respond to a bigger bet than expected. It is especially effective in cash games where the pots are already sizable and more money is at stake. Cold 4-betting can also be helpful in tournaments because it allows players to accumulate chips quickly and eliminate opponents who are not as experienced.

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When to Use Cold 4-Betting Techniques?

It’s important to remember that cold 4-betting is a high-risk, high-reward move. It can be profitable in certain situations but also a move that should be used sparingly and cautiously. Before cold 4-betting, consider your opponent’s tendencies, the pot size, and the chip stack. If you are confident in your ability to read opponents and make correct decisions, cold 4-betting can be a viable option to increase your win rate.

Cold 4-bets represent massive amounts of strength. Many players will never cold 4-bet unless they have a strong beginning hand, like QQ+ or AK in Hold’em. Hence, when your opponents place a cold 4-bet against your pre-flop 3-bet, it usually makes sense to treat them respectfully.

Here’s when you must use this poker tactic:

Ways to Cold 4-Bet

Likely, you won’t encounter many three-bets, much less four-bets, if you play low-stakes cash games and tournaments. And when you do notice someone raising twice before the flop, they usually have pocket aces or kings. So, the table will pay heed to your cold four-bet.

Cold four-betting is such a solid line before the flop that it works wonders as a bluffing strategy. On the other hand, you will only get action from the greatest hands when you cold four-bet with pocket aces.

As a Bluff

You must find areas where the raiser and re-raiser in front of you are probably playing a variety of poker hands. Additionally, they must likely fold to another raise to cold four-bet bluff profitably.

The two main determinants of this move are the players’ loose or aggression level and the positions they are raising and re-raising.

Always be conscious of how many hands your rivals are engaged in and whether they are raising and re-raising more frequently than they are placing calls. Go after players who frequently open-raise and 3-bet. When in a late position, most players raise and re-raise with a wider variety of hands.

A raise and a re-raise from an early position differ significantly from a cutoff raise and a button re-raise.

Always try to cold four-bet bluff against players raising and re-raising from a late position. When you have an ace in your hand, you should also think about cold four-bet bluffing because it is less likely that your opponent would also hold an ace or an A-K.

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For Value

Look for the opposite circumstances when cold four-betting for value as opposed to when you’re bluffing. You want to raise against players who will call with worse hands since you think you have the best hand.

The ideal players to target are loose/passive calling stations since they rarely fold and will compensate you when they acquire a piece of the flop.

While it may be tempting to simply flat-call a three-bet when you have a strong hand, such as pocket aces or kings, it would be better to raise and play a larger pot versus just one opponent.

You’ll need a large hand to be cold four-betting for value, but when you’re bluffing, the rules alter depending on where your opponents are raising from.

At most tables, you shouldn’t cold four-bet pocket jacks for value against a player that raise and a re-raise from an early position, but it might be the best play if there are two loose raisers in the late position.

Conclusion: Exploit Your Opponents

The optimal moment to execute this move when you play poker is when you’ve found a hole in your adversaries’ strategy. You are counting on the initial raiser and the 3-bettor to either fold or call with a weaker hand, so you want both of them to be loose-aggressive players.

There is no purpose in making the play if the 3-bettor is a gigantic nit who only 3-bets with kings and aces because you will always lose. Nonetheless, a loose player 3-bets with T9s or other weak hands that can’t play against a huge 4-bet.

As a final reminder, remember that this play requires dedication even after you’ve found a favorable spot. Make the brave move, knowing that while you might lose your entire stack, you might even win when you know when and how to exploit your opponents.

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