overbet allin 4-bet preflop

The Wild Tactic Poker Pros Use to Make More Money in Cash Games

New poker strategies are always emerging.

One wild tactic that has risen in prominence is 4-betting all-in in cash games (with 100 big blind stacks).

Suppose you raise before the flop to 3 big blinds (bb) and another player re-raises to 9bb. When the action is back on you, you shove your entire 100bb stack into the pot.

You might be thinking “Dan, that’s crazy! Why would I make such a huge all-in bet with so little money in the pot?!”

The answer is simple: because it makes money. When used correctly, this tactic will help you win more (on average) against strong and/or overly aggressive opponents. 

Let’s get into the details.

Note: This article is marked as advanced.

You will need to be familiar with the following concepts: Ranges | Game Theory Optimal (GTO) | Solvers | Mixed Strategies

For introductory and intermediate articles, check out Upswing Poker’s article library here.

The Benefits of 4-Betting All-In with 100 Big Blind Stacks

This tactic accomplishes 3 goals.

1. It protects you from facing too many 3-bets

When you have this massive preflop overbet in your arsenal, your opponents can’t attack your raises as often because they know what might come.

2. It makes your opponents realize less equity (i.e. make less money) with certain hands

Against a big 4-bet shove, your opponent will have to fold some pretty good hands with which they 3-bet.

Those pretty good hands might have come out on top, but you force them to fold before they have a chance to connect with the flop/turn/river. In other words, you denied their equity.

3. It punishes opponents who do not 5-bet shove often enough

When you 4-bet (not all-in) with a super strong hand, you want your opponent to 5-bet all-in. But some players are very hesitant when it comes to shoving their stack in before the flop.

By 4-betting all-in, you take matters into your own hands. You force your opponent to call for the maximum — or fold, thus denying their equity.

When to 4-Bet All-In (Examples)

Solvers show that 4-betting all-in with 100bb stacks usually happens when you are out of position against the 3-bettor. There are occasional exceptions, but these out of position spots are where it usually takes place.

Let’s take a look at exactly which hands you should make this move with.

I’m going to run through two examples:

  1. You raise from the Lojack and the Hijack 3-bets
  2. You raise from the Cutoff and the Button 3-bets

(Are you unfamiliar with these positions? Click here for a helpful infographic.)

I’ll be using the Lucid GTO Trainer to visualize the solver-generated strategies for these situations.

lucid gto trainer

Example 1: You raise from the Lojack and the Hijack 3-bets

This first example takes place with the following action.

You raise from the Lojack position to 2.25bb. The Hijack 3-bets to 7.2bb, everyone else folds, and the action is back on you.

lojack vs hijack

Here is how the Lojack responds to the 3-bet at equilibrium:

lj vs hj 3-bet range from lucid gto

Focus on the hands with that gold color (AKo, KK, QQ). That’s the 4-bet all-in range and it represents 6% of the Lojack’s overall range in this situation.

The biggest part of the all-in range is Ace-King offsuit. The solver opts to shove 88% of the time when it has that hand. Pocket Kings (44%) and Pocket Queens (21%) complete the all-in range, which looks like this when isolated:

shoving range 100bb lj vs hj

Yellow = all-in | Grey = not all-in

I’ll go over some more takeaways after walking you through example #2.

Example 2: You raise from the Cutoff and the Button 3-bets

Same sizes, different (looser) positions.

You raise from the Cutoff to 2.25bb. The Button 3-bets 7.2bb and both blinds fold.

co vs button

Here is the Cutoff’s equilibrium response versus the 3-bet:

co vs button 3-bet range

Focus, again, on the gold hands. That 4% all-in range looks a bit different this time, including Ace-King offsuit (90% frequency) and Pocket Jacks (50% frequency). It looks like this when isolated:

cutoff vs button all-in range

Yellow = all-in | Grey = not all-in

Key Takeaways from These Examples

While the ranges are different in these two spots, they illustrate similar points.

The hand that prefers this tactic the most is Ace-King offsuit. But high pocket pairs (Pocket Kings, Pocket Queens, and Pocket Jacks) do it sometimes as well. This makes sense when you think about it.

Have you ever had trouble playing these hands — especially Ace-King offsuit — out of position in a 4-bet pot? It can get quite awkward when the flop isn’t favorable for you.

The solver doesn’t love playing these hands out of position either! It finds that it’s simply better to just 4-bet all-in preflop (at a mid-high frequency), which forces the opponent to fold the majority of their range.

Because the range includes both Ace-King and high pocket pairs, there’s nothing your opponent can do to exploit this strategy. Consider:

  • If you only shoved with Ace-King, they could exploit you by only calling with Ace-King and pocket pairs (even the lowest pairs would be hugely profitable).
  • If you only shoved with pocket pairs, they could exploit you by only calling with high pairs and Ace-King (which is priced in versus your all-in).

But when the range is properly balanced with both Ace-King and some high pocket pair combinations, the in position player will find themself in a very tough spot.

In short, this 4-bet all-in strategy is created by the solver to make hands like Pocket Tens and Pocket Eights indifferent between calling and folding.

When Should You Actually Make This Play Against Humans?

A solver comes up with its strategies by playing millions of hands against itself until an equilibrium is reached. The result is what many refer to as a game theory optimal (GTO) strategy.

Playing against humans in real life will always be different than playing against a solver. But it is important to learn from these tools so you can adapt the strategies into your real games.

The solver’s main goal is to maximize its expected value (EV) in every situation. Therefore, since it chooses to 4-bet shove 100bb in certain situations, it’s safe to assume that the play is part of a theoretically optimal strategy.

But when should you actually do it against humans?

You could incorporate this strategy — exactly how its laid out in this article — against all opponents. That strict adherence to a GTO preflop strategy is a guaranteed way to make some profit in the long-run.

But if you practice good observational skills, you can find situations in which you can exploit your opponents. That will allow you to make even more profit.

When considering a 4-bet shove for 100bb against a human, consider the following questions.

1. How often and with which hands does your opponent 3-bet in position?

The more your opponent 3-bets, the better this play is.

If you’re up against a truly maniacal 3-bettor, you can shove even more hands than showed in the examples above.

But if your opponent is a massive nit who only 3-bets with monsters, you should lean away from 4-betting all-in.

2. How does your opponent respond to non-all-in 4-bets?

The more your opponent just calls with strong hands against non-all-in 4-bets, the more you should 4-bet shove.

If your opponent is the type who will err on the tight side by only calling with hands like Ace-King and Pocket Jacks, you should definitely implement the 4-bet shove. Your all-in range benefits from forcing them to put in their entire stack or fold.

On the other hand, if your opponent does a lot of 5-bet shoving, you should do less 4-bet shoving. You’re better off 4-betting non-all-in so they can pull the all-in trigger with too wide of a range.

3. How will your opponent respond to a 4-bet all-in?

This one will be a bit obvious, but it’s worth mentioning.

If you think your opponent is the type to make a super tight fold with Pocket Queens against your 4-bet shove, you should not shove with Pocket Kings. Don’t let them off the hook that easily!

But against that same tight opponent, shoving with Ace-King offsuit is an amazing play.

You also may find yourself against some super splashy opponents who love to gamble. 4-betting all-in can be amazing versus these players because they may decide to make some loose calls in the interest of scratching their gambling itch.

Think how amazing it would be to get called by Eight-Seven suited or Ace-Jack offsuit. You’re absolutely printing money if that happens!

Final Thoughts

You now have the foundation to understand 4-bet jamming as it works in theory, plus some guiding principles for applying this strategy in real-world games.

By implementing this tactic in the right spots, you will be able to increase your win-rate and finish more sessions in the green!

That’s all for this article! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you have any questions regarding this topic, let me know in the comment section down below.

If you want to learn about another advanced poker tactic, check out This Poker “Cheat Code” Will Help You Win More Hands.

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

Note: If you want to practice your cash game skills and get instant feedback on every decision (both preflop and postflop), get the new Lucid GTO Cash Game Trainer now. You can also look up situations to discover solver-backed strategies like the one in this article. Learn more here!

lucid gto trainer


Related Posts

Home > The Wild Tactic Poker Pros Use to Make More Money in Cash Games
Home > The Wild Tactic Poker Pros Use to Make More Money in Cash Games
About the Author
Dan B.

Dan B.

Online grinder aspiring to reach the highest stakes and crush the toughest games. I'm available for quick strategy questions and hourly coaching -- reach out to me at [email protected].

Put Your Skills to the Test with Quick Poker Quizzes!