Online Poker Timing Tell Study Results Part 1 – 3Bet Success Rate in Relation to Timing Ranges

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Online Poker Timing Tell Study Results Part 1 – 3Bet Success Rate in Relation to Timing Ranges

Hello! Over the past month we have been collecting volunteered timing hand histories from TimeMojo users. With these, we have done analysis of certain trends over the entire player pool of each stake available.

Today we will be exploring one of these trends. The stake I have selected for review is $2/$5 NL 6max Zoom games on PokerStars. The current sample size we obtained for this stake is about 100,000 hands.

The first trend I want to talk about is “Raise First in (RFI) and Fold to 3Bet %”, based on the timing of the RFI.

There are two theories we had before analyzing the data for this trend.

1. The quickest RFIs are likely to receive fewer folds to 3bets in comparison to the overall fold percentage. 

The reason is, if a player is multi-tabling and they pick up a premium hand with the chance to RFI, they will do so quickly in order to move to the next table and decision.

2. Players who take a very long time to RFI are likely distracted with other tables and are unsure if they want to RFI at another when holding a marginal hand.

This also ties in with our first theory, that a distracted player will instantly raise a strong hand. Therefore, these long RFI timings will result to a higher fold to 3bet percentage.

Before I show the results, I want to explain the reason behind the timing ranges we used. Determining exactly what a quick bet is based on timing can vary from stake to stake and game to game. In order to solve this, we decided to use the median timing of the sample size (3.54s) as a reference point.

With that being said, we decided to define a very quick RFI as 1.54 seconds (2 seconds less than the median) or less.

For our second theory, we decided to define a very long RFI as 9.01 seconds or higher. We feel this is a strong indication that a player is well distracted and would have quickly raised a premium hand in order to move on.

Below are the results of our theories applied to the sample set:

RFI Fold to 3Bet
Interested in seeing the results only applied to regulars? See our blog post here: Online Poker Timing Tells – Regulars vs Weaker Players

From the data shown, you can see that there is a correlation between very quick actions compared to very long actions. Specifically, there is about an 8% edge lost in 3bet bluffing a very quick bet and about a 9% edge gained in 3bet bluffing a very long bet.

If this doesn’t sound like much to you, consider the following 3bet example (warning, math):

Before the example, let us assume that your entire 3bet range is bluffs and that your opponent either folds or jams over your 3bet. This means that you either win his original raise and the blinds or lose your 3bet bluff.

Example Hand:


Villain Raises 3BB

Player B Folds

Player C Folds

Hero Raises 9BB

Small Blind Folds (.5BB)

Big Blind Folds (1BB)


The Hero’s 3bet has to win 66.67% of the time in order to be a break-even play, which we will also assume is the player’s overall 3bet success rate.

Now let’s assume that the player starts winning in this situation at 71.12% (added edge from the table above).

This means you would win 3.2BB 71.12% of the time and lose 2.6BB 28.88% of the time.

Therefore, the expected value of each 3bet at a 71.12% success rate is .6BB.

Apply this difference in win rate over 1,000 attempts, and you are talking about +600BBs, or +$3,000 at $2/$5.

Alternatively, if you subtract the loss of edge from above by 3betting quick RFI’s, your 3bet success rate would be 63%. This would yield an expected value of -.495BB per attempt. Over 1,000 attempts, this is -495BBs or -$2,475 at $2/$5.

Please note that I do not advise any player to start 3betting every RFI of 9.01s+, or to never 3bet a quick RFI. However, this timing read is a powerful filter, that when applied in well selected spots, can provide a boost to your win rate and confidence.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article!

Please also view our study on 4Bet success rate in relation to timing ranges: Online Poker Timing Tell Study Results Part 2 – 4Bet Success Rate in Relation to Timing Ranges

Visit our features page to learn how easy it is to add timing tells to your game by using TimeMojo: TimeMojo Features

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By |May 2nd, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on Online Poker Timing Tell Study Results Part 1 – 3Bet Success Rate in Relation to Timing Ranges

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