Make Your 4bets THIS Amount (Used by Pros)

poker 4bet sizing
People often ask me what is the correct bet sizing when you are making a 4bet. A 4bet by the way is a preflop situation when there is a raise, a re-raise and then you choose to re-raise again.

This is an extremely strong play and at the lower stakes in particular it often represents a very strong hand.

So it is extremely important to know what the correct 4bet sizing is, because making it too little or too much can have large repercussions on your long term winrate.

In this article I am going to break it all down for you once and for all. This is your complete guide to preflop 4bet sizing.


What is the Best Preflop 4bet Sizing?


Ok, so let's just get right to it.

The preflop 4bet sizing that I recommend is 2.2x.

What does this actually mean though?

An example hand will best illustrate this. Suppose you are playing a 50c/$1 no limit hold'em cash game online and you raise it to $3 from middle position with AK

A tight and aggressive (TAG) regular 3bets you on the button to $9.

In this case, we know that we are way ahead of our opponent's range and so we decide to put in a 4bet (re-raise). Using the 2.2x rule, we should then go ahead and make it $19.80

$9 x 2.2 = $19.80

Now of course I would probably just round up and make it $20 here but you get the basic idea.

When we use the 2.2x 4bet rule this means that we make it 2.2 times whatever the 3bet amount was. In this case the 3bet was $9, so we make it roughly $20 to go.


Why is 2.2x the Optimal 4bet Preflop Sizing?


So now let's talk about why 2.2x is the preferred 4bet sizing for most poker pros these days in a 100 big blind cash game or a deep stacked tournament.

The reason why this 4bet sizing works the best is because it is just big enough to tell our opponent that we are extremely serious about our hand and they should fold right now, but it is not big enough where we can't still get away from our hand, should they decide to re-raise us again.

For example, in the hand above, we have only committed 20% of our stack when we make it $20 to go in a 50c/$1 cash game online, assuming that we started the hand with $100 (100 big blinds).

Even though the chances of us folding a strong hand like Ace King versus an aggressive regular here is probably going to be pretty low, by only committing 20% of our stack to the pot preflop, we still give ourselves a chance to get away from our hand if our opponent chooses to make the 5bet and go all-in.

On the flop side though, if we had made our 4bet $30 instead, which commits 30% of our stack to the middle, it becomes increasingly difficult to ever justify folding to a shove.

This is an especially important concept to understand as you start to move up the stakes when you will need to start developing a 4bet bluffing range.

This is something that I discuss in much further detail in my most recent book, The Micro Stakes Playbook, including exactly which hands to 4bet bluff the regulars with.


Example 4bet Sizing Mistake Poker Hand


Alright, let's get into a specific example now of why 2.2x is the best 4bet sizing. And specifically, the disaster that happens if you make your 4bets significantly more than this.

This hand is a perfect illustration:


In this hand, we are playing NL2 6max and we are dealt pocket kings in the big blind. Before the action gets to us there is a raise and a call.

Now, if you know anything about my basic strategy in these low stakes games like this, I am literally re-raising here 100% of the time (it is technically a squeeze because of the caller).

In this hand hero decides to make it 30 cents to go which is absolutely perfect in my opinion. As I have discussed many times before, you always want to be making your 3bets larger when you are OOP (out of position).

Now the action is back on the original preflop raiser and he/she decides to make a ridiculously oversized 4bet of 3x (90 cents to go).

As I discussed above, this is a huge mistake because now they literally cannot fold anything with 40% of their stack in the middle.

And if we have the big monster hand (which we do), then they are completely screwed.


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4bet sizing
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Over-Sized 4bets Are Often the Sign of a Bad Poker Player


And this is why I usually only see bad players (recreational players) making ridiculously large 4bets like this. Good players always make it slightly more than a mini-raise like I suggest.

This is because they understand that in order to have a 4bet bluffing range, you must use a smaller sizing.

Also, when you make your 4bets way too big like this you actually make yourself ridiculously easy to play against.

This is because I can just fold all my 3bet bluffs very easily and jam on you with all my monsters like pocket KK (which you then have to call).

In other words, you lose either way.

So guys, please remember to make your 4bets slightly above a mini-raise. I recommend aiming for 2.2x the 3bet amount.

All good players understand the reasoning behind this already. If you want to have any kind of 4bet bluffing range, and make yourself more difficult to play against, you need to use a proper balanced 4bet sizing like 2.2x.

If you want to learn more about how to balance your bet sizing in all situations, not just with 4bets, I recommend checking out The Upswing Poker Lab.


Always Give Them the Opportunity to Do Something Stupid!


The last point I want to discuss regarding 4bet sizing is that when you make your 4bet too big you take away their ability to spazz out and do something stupid.

This is a huge, huge mistake in poker.

You always want to give people (especially those who are on tilt) as much rope as possible to flip out and make a very poor decision.

4-bet sizing

When you make your 4bet too big like we saw in the video above, you take away your opponent's ability to spazz out and ship something silly like a suited connector, 89

Because after all, he can see that you already have a huge amount of your stack in preflop. And therefore, you aren't folding.

On the other hand, when you make your 4bet just over a mini-raise you can sometimes jiggle the do something stupid switch in an otherwise good player, who is perhaps on tilt.

Maybe you have won several pots off of him/her in a row and they are sick of you. They might just take this opportunity with snap shove a bad hand.

And then you can snap call them right back with all your monsters like pocket kings and make an easy fold with all your 3bet bluffs.

Always, always, give them the opportunity to do something stupid against you at the poker table. When you make your 4bets too big, you literally take this option right away from them.

For much more on how I have literally made an entire career out of baiting bad poker players with the right bet sizing, I discuss this at length in my first book Crushing the Microstakes.


Final Thoughts


When you make a 4bet at the micros it is typically a very, very strong play. And this is because most micro stakes players have no 4bet bluffing range.

Or in other words, when they make a 4bet, it is the mortal nuts, AA, KK, QQ, AK.

Now, even if you currently do the same thing (which is fine by the way at the very lowest stakes), you still want to use a balanced 4bet sizing that allows you to potentially fold QQ or AK for example if an extremely tight player comes back over the top of you.

Another hidden benefit of using a 2.2x 4bet sizing is that you allow your opponent to spazz out and ship something silly on you like we saw in the hand above, AJ

If you make your 4bet too big though, you take away their ability to do this!

You always want to give your opponents the maximum rope to do something stupid. Don't make things easy for them by making your 4bet so large, that they can only value shove on you or fold.

Anyways, I hope this discussion of 4bet sizing is helpful for you in your small stakes poker games. Always remember that less is usually more when 4betting. Don't make it too big.

Lastly, if you want to know the complete strategy that I have used to crush the micro stakes as a 10+ year pro, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

4bet sizing