exploit weak 3-bettors

How to Exploit Weak 3-Bettors (AKA Most Poker Players)

Upswing Poker’s newest course presents a fresh approach to poker from chess champion turned poker pro Alex Vuilleumier.

In this article/video, Alex shares one of his favorite and most effective exploits: exploiting players who don’t 3-bet often enough. He also teaches you a simple method to leverage a node locking with the Rocket Solver free trial (https://rocketsolver.ai/) to discover more ways to take advantage of your opponents’ tendencies.

Alex holds the unique distinction of achieving status as an International Master in chess, and also as a WSOP bracelet winner in poker.

Alex’s Precision Poker course debuts at Upswing Poker on February 19. You can get on the waitlist for first access to the course by signing up through the links throughout this page.

precision poker waitlist with up branding

One of the key aspects of the course features Alex introducing his approach to studying with tools, doing so in a way that aims to maximize efficiency.

The Importance of Words

In order to maximize the retention of concepts learned through solver work, Alex contends that you must put those concepts into words.

To have the best possible output, to be able to remember everything that you’re doing for ages and ages, you will have to use words in the end.

Generally speaking, poker is very mathematical, it’s very difficult to remember frequencies, or symbols, or all of these concepts that are a little bit blurry.

Whereas if you have words, if you have done a generalization, and understood things conceptually, then you will make them yours, and you will be able to use them forever.

How to Exploit Weak 3-Bettors

Alex uses Rocket Solver and its node-locking feature to figure out how to adjust to exploit a player who 3-bets too infrequently.

In the video included with this article, he studies a spot as a Cutoff opener facing a non-GTO 3-betting range from the Button.

(Note: This is a tournament hand example with an extra 1bb ante in the pot. The Cutoff open size is 2.5bb.)

First, take a look at how aggressive the solver plays as the Button against a Cutoff raise:


Salmon = 3-Bet | Green = Call | Blue = Fold

If you’re thinking “King-Ten offsuit and Jack-Seven suited?! Players in my games would never 3-bet with that wide of a range!”, you’re on the same page as Alex.

The next step is to node-lock this range to make the Button respond with a more realistic strategy. Here’s what Alex adjusted it to:


Salmon = 3-Bet | Green = Call | Blue = Fold

This is much closer to how most humans would play against a Cutoff raise versus the Button. (If you play live, it’s probably still more aggressive than what you’d expect from the players in your games.)

Now, let’s compare the Cutoff’s response against each 3-betting range:

4bet range comparison

Salmon = 3-Bet | Green = Call | Blue = Fold

The result — a significantly simplified 4-betting strategy that removes many of the mixed-frequency call/fold/4-bet strategies from the sim.

Instead of playing a complex mixed strategy with hands like KJo and K6s, the 4-bet range in the node-locked sim gives a clear decision with just about every hand in the range.

Overall, the response for the Cutoff is tighter with less calling and less 4-betting. The 4-betting range itself is a lot more value-heavy, with just a few A+ bluffing hands like A5s, AQo, and K9s balancing out QQ+ and AKo.

The range that comes forth from Alex’s node-locked sim can be used against any opponent you don’t know much about — and be used effectively at that.

Every single time, when someone is not playing GTO, either because he’s not respecting the frequencies or the range composition, your task is easier.

You can tend toward playing ABC, which is the Holy Grail of poker.

You can replicate Alex’s node-locking processes to come up with more counter-strategies based on the players in your games.

That’s a big part of what Precision Poker is all about. Finding efficient, productive ways to study that have a significantly positive impact on your bottom line.

Precision Poker Launches February 19th

Alex’s upcoming Masterclass on Poker Methodology goes live on Upswing Poker later this month.

You can get on the waitlist now for this course, which aims to be unlike anything seen before in the realm of poker training:

precision poker waitlist with up branding

Did You See Alex’s First Video?

Last week Alex put out a video sharing the top 3 things that shocked him when he transitioned from chess to poker. Check it out here:

3 Things That Shocked This Chess Master Turned Poker Pro


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About the Author
Geoffrey Fisk

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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