In poker, a 4-bet is a preflop betting action that occurs after three previous bets have been made. It is a significant move that can indicate a player’s strength in their hand and their intention to aggressively play the pot.
To understand a 4-bet, let’s break down the preflop betting actions in poker:
1. Open Raise: The first player to act makes an initial raise to start the betting.
2. 3-Bet: Another player then raises over the initial raise, which is known as a 3-bet.
3. 4-Bet: If a third player decides to raise again, it is called a 4-bet.
The 4-bet is typically a strong move, indicating a player’s confidence in their hand. It is often used with premium hands like pocket aces, kings, or ace-king suited. By making a 4-bet, the player is putting significant pressure on their opponents, hoping to either force them to fold or commit more chips to the pot.
The purpose of a 4-bet is to gain control of the hand and build a larger pot. When facing a 4-bet, players who hold weaker hands may choose to fold rather than risk a large portion of their chip stack on a marginal hand. However, players with strong holdings may choose to respond with a 5-bet, which is a rare occurrence in poker and signifies extreme strength.
It is essential to note that the concept of 4-betting applies mainly to cash games and high-stakes tournaments. In smaller buy-in games or low-limit games, 4-betting is relatively infrequent.
In summary, a 4-bet in poker refers to the fourth preflop raise in a hand. It is a powerful move used by players to assert dominance and generate action in the pot. Understanding the strategy and purpose behind 4-betting can help players make informed decisions in high-stakes poker games.