Talking Poker: The Cold Four-Bet
Each week, the Talking Poker series will highlight a particular poker term. We’ll give you a clear, to-the-point definition of the term and an example of the strategic concept to which it refers, so that you can start using the term and implementing the related strategy into your game. This week we turn our attention to the cold four-bet and also explain the difference between that and a regular four-bet.
A “four-bet” is when a player puts in the third raise. In other words, there is a bet, a raise, a reraise (a three-bet), then another reraise (the four-bet). A cold four-bet is generally a preflop play and occurs when a player puts in that third raise as his or her first action in the pot.
A regular four-bet: In a no-limit hold'em game, Player A raises in the cutoff. Player B reraises (three-bets) on the button. Action folds back to Player A who reraises (four-bets).
A cold four-bet: Player A raises in the cutoff. Player B reraises (three-bets) on the button. Player C in the small blind reraises, making a cold four-bet.
Strategic Considerations for a Cold Four-Bet
When a player makes a cold-four bet, it is generally considered a very strong hand since the play requires a player to put a lot of chips in the pot. Because of this, a cold four-bet can also be a great way to pick up chips as a bluff.
If you're making this move as bluff, keep in mind that you must have enough “fold equity” when making the four-bet — that is, you don’t want to give your opponents too inviting odds to call your four-bet and thus lessen the chance they will fold. Try not to give the three-bettor more than 1.5-to-1 odds to call.
Read More and Learn
For more about cold four-bets, read Randal Flowers discussing the ins and outs of making a cold-four bet and also illustrating the idea by giving a hand example.