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when to re-raise in poker

Re-Raising in Poker: When to Re-Raise (& How Much)

Raises occur frequently in a game of poker, as most pots don’t get through to the showdown without someone raising along the way. While raising is a common occurrence, re-raising in a poker game happens much less often.

Re-raising in a game like Texas Hold’em often signifies a very strong hand. Skilled players understand this dynamic, and the best players in the game are the ones that are also capable of putting in a re-raise while bluffing.

If you’ve ever wondered when to re-raise in poker, and by how much, keep reading.

When to Re-Raise in Poker

The best times to re-raise in poker include:

  • When you hold a very strong hand, and you want your opponent(s) to call.
  • When you think you can get an opponent to fold by re-raising.
  • When calling would leave you with an awkwardly small stack.

In Texas Hold’em, most re-raising happens in the preflop betting round. The first player to bet more than the big blind amount preflop is raising, and any action that increases the bet even more is known as re-raising.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a Texas Hold’em cash game at $2/$3 stakes. The under-the-gun player limps (calls for $3), and the player in the cutoff raises to $15.

If the player on the button makes it $60 to go, that player is re-raising. The first re-raise in the preflop betting round is known as a three-bet. If a player raises against a three-bet, that raise is known as a four-bet. Re-raising against a four-bet is known as a five-bet, and so on. 

While most three-betting happens preflop, the same terminology applies to re-raises in postflop betting rounds. Re-raising at any time after the flop betting round generally indicates a very strong hand or a strong draw.

How Much Should I Re-Raise in Poker?

Preflop three-bets generally fall within a range of 3x to 5x the size of the initial raise. Many pros use a three-bet size of around 3x when in position preflop, and around 4x when out of position on the initial raiser.

Seasoned players will often use a preflop four-betting size of 2x to 3x the size of the opponent’s three-bet. Once again, out-of-position four-bets should usually be larger than in-position four bets.

Postflop re-raises can vary significantly in size, especially in live cash games. Re-raising to around 3x your opponent’s raise is generally a good guideline.

The rules of poker dictate that the minimum re-raise size has to be at least the amount of the previous raise. For example, if your opponent bets $20 on the flop, any re-raise must be at least $20 more, or $40 total.

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