Poker Quiz! Q♠T♠ Facing a Button 3-Bet, What Do You Do?


You are in the middle stages of a multi-table Tournament where blinds are 500/1,000 with a 1,000 big blind ante. Stacks at the table are between 30-50BBs and you have 50BBs. You’ve observed the players on the Button and in the Blinds to be solid opponents. Action folds to you in the Cutoff with Q♠T♠ and you raise to 2,300. The Button 3-Bets to 6,900 and both of the Blinds fold.

Action is back on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing the middle stages of a multi-table Tournament. The blinds are 500/1,000 with a 1,000 big blind ante. The Button, Small Blind, and Big Blind are solid players with a good understanding of poker theory. We have 50,000 chips and most of the other stacks around the table have between 30-50 big blinds.

We are dealt QsTs in the Cutoff and action folds to us. We make a standard opening raise to 2,300 and the Button to our immediate left reraises to 6,900. Both the Small Blind and Big Blind fold and action is back on us.

Against skilled and aggressive players it is very important that we are able defend reraises of our first-in opens with an appropriate frequency. In this scenario the Button 3-bet 6,900 to win our initial 2,300 raise amount plus the additional 2,500 in the pot. Since they risked 6,900 to win 4,800 if we defend any less than around 40% of the time (4800/6900) our opponent can profit by reraising with any two cards. Using our estimated equity in the pot as a shortcut to govern how often we need to continue against aggressive action in a specific scenario is often referred to as minimum defense frequency.

Continued below...

Tour Terms 3-Bet

The best combinations for us to defend against reraises include hands that realize their equity well out of position. This means that in addition to some of the more obvious candidates like big pairs , Ace-King, and Ace-Queen that will continue by calling or 4-betting, we need to fill out the rest of our range with other hands that don’t favor a 4-bet such as pairs and some of our best suited hands. Our specific hand QTs is one of the better candidates to defend in this spot, with GTO response charts recommending we continue against a Button 3-bet with as low as Q8s.

In game, if we have a read that our opponent is not 3-betting an appropriate range and is instead using a much narrower one, we could make an exploitative adjustment in this spot by folding. Against skilled and aggressive opponents we must defend a certain percentage of the time to avoid being exploited, and QTs falls firmly into the preferred 3-bet defense range in this spot.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!


Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

We created LearnWPT with the goal to provide a place that empowers players to ask questions, help get them focused, and provide a solid game-plan to bring to the table every time they sit down.

Some of the ways we accomplish this is by:

  • Teaching and presenting examples of proven, winning concepts through our Strategy Episodes (short 10-15 min videos)
  • Having Members Practice, Drill, and Play Hands using the WPT GTO Trainer for instant feedback on their decisions
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro Forums
  • Giving Members the ability to record and send hands they've played to receive expert analysis using the Hand Input Tool

Not a Member?
Click below to join (just $5 your first month) and start improving your game today!