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Lessons from Bungakat: Facing C-bets in 3-bet pots

Lessons from Bungakat: Facing C-bets in 3-bet pots

If your stats show that you’re folding to too many 3-bets when you’re in position, then you’re only going to get 3-bet more often.

Ask yourself: Why do I fold too often? It might be because you’re afraid of the aggression that could follow. When you call a 3-bet in position, that means the out-of-position 3-bettor is first to act and there’s a very high chance you’re going to face a c-bet on the flop.

To help you get more comfortable calling 3-bets and facing c-bets, we’re going to take a few lessons from BBZ coach Jargo “bungakat” Alaväli. In his Bungakat Bundle, he spends more than 80 minutes across three videos covering how you should face c-bets in 3-bet pots.

Let’s get to it.

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Small c-bet, high equity

In the first example, Bungakat opens to 2.17x on the button with A5 off of ~100 big blinds and both players in the blinds have ~50 big blinds. The small blind then 3-bets to 9x and it folds back to us.

A5suited is a versatile hand referred to as ‘the magic hand’ by Twitch superstar and BBZ student Fintan “easywithaces” Hand: “You can 4-bet shove it, you can 5-bet shove it. If you have A5suited you can pretty much do whatever you want. That’s what I’ve learned in 2021.”

But what should we do in this instance?

First, let’s look at the small blind’s out-of-position (OOP) 3-betting range:

There are no real surprises here. The OOP player can 3-bet all pocket pairs from sevens up, plus broadway hands and some weaker ace-x off. But they can also do this with hands like K6suited and 97suited as bluffs.

Now let’s look at our calling range when facing the 3-bet:

You’ll notice at this stack depth we’re never 4-betting to a non-all-in size. Pocket eights through pocket queens prefer to shove, while pocket aces and pocket kings call to trap. We can also call with all suited aces and most suited one or two-gappers that can flop well.

“I might be 3-betting a little too much with pocket kings at 50 big blinds,” says Bungakat. “This is going to be a little different depending on the solutions [and sizes], but overall this range looks pretty good.”

When Bungakat calls, the flop comes 10106 giving him a flush draw.

The OOP player is betting their entire range on this paired flop, according to the solver. “You can size up because the 3-bet bluffs will come from 10-x, but for our main bet OOP is supposed to use a small sizing,” says Bungakat.

In the actual hand, OOP c-bets for 4.38x into a 19.9x pot.

When looking at our range facing this c-bet, Bungakat points out that there is no 3-betting range when our opponent opts for a small sizing. But he does highlight that we’re only folding 10% of our range on this flop.

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“We’re in position so we can’t do too much folding in this type of spot. Whenever you have a backdoor straight draw or flush draw–which is pretty much with our entire range–there is not much folding at all. I think a lot of people will miss this and overfold on these flops.”

Bungakat naturally sticks around with the nut flush draw and the turn is the 5, giving him a pair. Now OOP should switch to more polarizing betting, but the range is mostly checking.

When OOP checks, what would you do with the nut flush draw now that you’ve made a pair?

“With ace-five and the flush draw we’re supposed to always bet,” says Bungakat. “But where are our bluffs coming from? They’re coming from hands like KJoff and QJoff. We’re bluffing most of our king-x while our gutshots are mixing [between calling and betting].”

One thing to note is that when we have a gutshot with a flush draw, 98 for example, we’re mainly checking as we don’t want really want to bet and face a shove. 98, on the other hand, is mostly betting as a semi-bluff.

If you do decide to bet, the solver suggests a one-third pot sizing. After we bet the OOP player is supposed to float very wide, calling with hands like A9off, AJoff and AQoff. “There isn’t much folding happening because we use a small size,” says Bungakat.

In the hand, Bungakat led for a 9.46x into a pot of 28.66x (one-third pot) and OOP makes the call. The river is the A giving Bungakat a pair of aces to go with the tens on board.

As OOP is supposed to float with lots of ace-x combos on the turn, they can actually lead this river with AQ. “But whenever it comes to river leads, it’s always difficult to execute those strategies. River leads are probably one of the last things people are studying,” says Bungakat.

The OOP player checks the river and the question now is: should we value bet our ace?

“We can see that our bluffs are pocket threes, pocket fours and pocket sixes,” says Bungakat. Interestingly, we’re also bluffing with some five-x combos.

A5suited is a pure check though.

Big c-bet, low equity

The second example we’ll look at sees Bungakat open the button with A6 to 2.18x and face a 3-bet from the small blind to 7.3x. Stacks are 32 big blinds effective.

We know from the first example that all suited aces can call here, but that was at 50 big blinds effective. At ~30bbs, our range tightens slightly with the weakest suited aces folding.

Our calling range is very narrow here as stacks are shorter. The chart shows A6 is mixing between calling and folding, but that is versus a 9x 3-bet. The size in this hand was slightly smaller (7.3x) giving more incentive to call.

Bungakat calls and the flop comes 102Q. With 16.72 big blinds in the middle, OOP chooses to c-bet shove for 24.42 big blinds, overbetting the pot.

“I specifically looked at this hand because a lot of people asked me why he was shoving here,” says Bungakat. “This is a thing on flops like jack-ten-x and queen-ten-x. It’s a low-frequency play and I did fold, but I want to show you what our calling range looks like versus their jamming range as you will face this type of thing in your games.”

First, let’s look at the OOP 3-betting range off 30 bigs. “The OOP 3-betting range is very polarized as they are very short,” he says.

Then we’ll see what hands they might shove the flop with.

“It’s mostly overpairs, some top pairs, and ace-highs which will be shoving,” says Bungakat. The bluffs are A7off, A5off and A6suited.”

And our calling range?

Notice that A8, A8 and A8–which all have backdoor flush draws–are calling most of the time. This is because they beat those aforementioned ace-high bluffs.

“But as they’re probably never going to find those bluffs, calling with one of these ace-eight combos isn’t going to be good often,” says Bungakat.

Against the shove we’re not folding any ten-x combos, nor are we folding J9 for an open-ended straight draw.

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