10 More Essential Hold'em Moves: The Cold Four-Bet
23 January 2013
The cold four-bet is a powerful, offensive poker move.
There’s no simple fix for becoming a winning poker player but there are a handful of simple, easy-to-execute poker moves that can make a world of difference to your bottom line.
By fine-tuning these tactics you’ll have more tools to put to work at the poker table. You’ll be able to better understand your opponents and how to manipulate them, and that will translate directly to money in your pocket.
Today we're showing you the cold four-bet, one of the strongest preflop lines you can take in Texas Hold'em.
Used either as a bluff or for value, cold four-betting will make your opponents sit up and take notice, and then usually fold.
But since it's a four-bet it's not going to be cheap so we're here to show you the ins and outs of cold four-betting profitably.
The What: Cold four-betting refers to four-betting without having already put money into the pot. For example: The player under-the-gun raises, the cut-off three-bets and you cold four-bet from the button.
Cold four-betting is an intermediate poker move and should be used with caution by the beginner.
The Why: Because you're coming into the pot cold, with no money invested, a cold four-bet indicates very strong cards and will usually fold out anything but the most premium starting hands.
The Where: Cold four-betting is only done before the flop and just like the vast majority of poker moves it works best when you're in position. And since you need a raise and a re-raise in front of you, you'll find yourself cold four-betting from late position and the blinds most often.
The When: Cold four-betting works in cash games and tournaments but since you're putting in a fourth bet it doesn't work when you're shortstacked.
Cold Four-Betting the Right Way
If you're playing low-stakes cash games and tournaments chances are you're not seeing a lot of three-bets, let alone four bets.
And when you do see someone putting in a re-re-raise before the flop it's with pocket aces or kings. That means when you cold four-bet it's going to get the table's attention.
Cold four-betting is such a strong line preflop it makes for a very effective bluffing tool. But on the flip side, when you cold four-bet with pocket aces you're only going to get action from the very best hands.
And since you'll have to commit 20 big blinds or more to the raise, cold four-betting willy-nilly can be a huge leak.
In this article we're going to break down the mechanics of the cold four-bet, show you how to use it as a bluff and for value, and then give you a quick lesson on balancing your cold four-bet range.
Cold Four-Betting as a Bluff
In order to cold four-bet bluff profitably you need to find spots where it's likely the raiser and re-raiser in front of you are playing a wide range of hands and are likely to fold to another raise.
All great players are able to cold four-bet as a bluff.
The two biggest factors in determining this are how loose/aggressive those players are and the positions from which they are raising and re-raising.
You should always be aware of how many hands your opponents are playing, and whether they're raising and re-raising more often than calling.
PokerListings.com is the world's largest and most trusted online poker guide, offering the best online poker bonus deals guaranteed, over $1m in exclusive freerolls every year and the most free poker content available on the Web.