4-bet in Poker: Introducing Ranges for Each Position

Poker Academy
20 Apr 2024
Holdem Strategy
20 Apr 2024

In poker, 4-betting is a crucial part of your strategy that can significantly impact the long-term profits and losses, as it heavily contributes to the size of the pot.

In the past, only premium hands like AA or KK were typically seen as candidates for 3-bets or 4-bets. However, with the evolution of poker strategies influenced by GTO principles, the ranges of hands suitable for 4-betting have expanded significantly.

Let's take a closer look at which hands are suitable for making a 4-bet today!

What is a 4-bet?

4-bet is an action in which a player re-raises after their opponent has already made a 3-bet.

This action is commonly seen preflop and occurs as follows:

Raise (open) → Re-raise (3-bet) → Re-re-raise (4-bet)

We 4-bet when we have strong hands like AA or KK to increase the size of the pot.

When we have strong hands, it's essential to build the pot aggressively and extract more value from our opponents!

Hands suitable for 4-betting

Hands suitable for 4-betting include:

  1. Strong (value) hands like AA or KK
  2. Hands that block strong hands and are likely to make a strong combinations postflop

Strong hands

Strong hands like AA and KK are always included in the 4-bet range.

*In some rare cases, we may choose them to call for balancing purpose.

Additionally, strong hands like QQ, JJ, and AQ may be chosen to 4-bet, depending on the opponent's 3-bet range and position, aiming to extract more value from weaker hands.

Hands that block strong hands

When making a 4-bet, simply having a strong hand is not enough, as opponents may fold marginal hands easily, exploiting our strategy and preventing us from getting paid.

Therefore, we need to choose hands for 4-bet bluffs that block our opponent's strong hands and increase our fold equity.

For effective 4-bet bluffs, it's preferable to choose hands that block our opponent's value 5-bet range (AA, KK, or AK). Therefore, hands like A5s or K9s can be effective as 4-bet bluffs.

Should the 4-bet range be changed depending on position?

The 4-bet range varies depending on two factors:

  • Whether we are in position or out of position
  • Whether our opponent's 3-bet range is tight/narrow or loose/wide

When in position (IP), the frequency of 4-bets decreases as we have room to call 3-bet with marginal hands.

Conversely, when OOP the 4-bet frequency increases, and the call frequency falls.

Let's examine how the 4-bet range changes based on these factors, using examples of CO vs BTN and BTN vs SB spots!


The first example is the range of CO (cutoff) against BTN (button) 3-bet. We can see that marginal hands like KJo or A2s are folded, while strong hands like AA, JJ, or AK are 4-bet for value. Additionally, hands like A5s or A4s, as well as T9s, are 4-bet bluffs.

Furthermore, it's crucial to consider how to play strong off-suit hands. AQs is called, while strong off-suit hands like AQo or AJo are 4-bet.

Suited hands gain more value as the stack-to-pot ratio (SPR) increases, so they are called, whereas off-suit hands are 4-bet when the SPR is smaller, as they have more value in such situations.


The BTN versus SB 3-bet range includes many calls due to positional advantage. Despite SB 3-bet range is narrower compared to BTN 3-bet range mentioned earlier, the BTN still calls with a similar frequency.

Furthermore, it's important to note that strong hands like JJ or QQ are also included in the calling range. The reason is to avoid weakening the calling range and to prevent exploitation.

Next, let's examine how the 4-bet range changes depending on whether the opponent's 3-bet range is tight or loose.


Against MP 3-bets, UTG 4-bet range becomes quite narrow due to the narrowness of the MP 3-bet range. Alongside strong hands like AA, KK, AK, UTG mixes in hands like AQ, JJ, TT for both calling and 4-betting.

Furthermore, against a tight 3-bet range, there are fewer bluffing hands selected, with only a few like A5s, A4s, 67s.

Next, let's look at the case where the opponent's 3 bet range is wide.

SB vs BB

Against the BB 3-bet range, the SB 4-bet range widens considerably compared to the earlier UTG scenario. This is primarily due to the BB wide 3-bet range.

In addition to premium hands like AA and KK, hands like KQ and AJo are also included in the 4-bet range. Furthermore, as bluffs you can choose hands like 98s, T8s, and K5s.

Adjusting to Opponent Tendencies

Up to this point, we have introduced the 4-bet ranges based on the GTO calculations, but when actually playing, you need to adjust it to your opponent.

Many players are not able to 3-bet and 4-bet as solvers do, so we need to change our 4-bet strategy searching for the more optimal play.

And let's see how we do it!

Against a Tight 3-bet Range

Against opponent with a tight 3-bet range, you'll opt for more folds or calls rather than bluff 4-bets. Even if hands like A5s or 98s are theoretically viable for a 4-bet, it's more profitable to avoid them against such opponents.

Moreover, against nitty 3-bettors, you can open with a wider range of hands.

Against a Loose 3-bet Range

Against opponents who 3-bet frequently, expand your 4-bet and calling ranges. At the same time, narrowing the opens makes the strategy way more effective against this kind of players. 

Exploit aggressive players by playing aggressively.

Against Players Who Fold to 4-bets Frequently

Against opponents who fold to 4-bets too often, add more 4-bets as bluff. Also, it is effective to increase the number of 4-bets against opponents who cannot make enough bluff 5-bets.

If you see that your opponent is not able to defend against 4-bets, be proactive and make bluff 4-bets.

Against a Tight 4-bet Range

Against opponents with a too nitty 4-bet range, shifted towards strong hands, you should overfold.

This is actually the case for many players, especially in casinos and micro/low (2NL-50NL) stakes. If your opponent isn't a good player, it's a good idea to fold many hands against 4-bets.


Since 4-bets pots are really large, one mistake can result in significant losses.

First of all, check how often 4-bets are made in GTO, and then adapt to your opponent accordingly.

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