In poker, the blinds can be a significant source of frustration for some players, who are forced to put chips into the pot without seeing their cards. Whether playing in a cash game or a tournament, losing chips from the blinds can quickly eat away at your stack and put you at a disadvantage. However, the right strategy can minimize your losses and even turn the blinds into a profitable position.
In this article, we will explore some strategies that a poker player can use to stop losing chips from the blinds and start taking control of the game. So, let’s shuffle up and deal!
Photo by Pixabay
Play With Fewer Hands
Playing fewer hands from the blind reduces the likelihood of getting involved in marginal situations where you must make tough decisions with weak hands. Instead, focus on playing the best poker hands and avoid confronting marginal holdings.
In addition, consider the players at the table and their tendencies. If tight players are in late position, you can afford to fold more often from the blinds and wait for better spots to get involved. If there are loose players who are willing to call raises, you may want to play tighter and only enter pots with premium hands.
3-Bet From the Blinds
It stays an effective counter-strategy, particularly at the lower limits. Most players will raise their hands with the greatest range possible (typically 30% or more of their hands); as a result, they will not be able to handle a raise too frequently.
With all of your powerful hands, such as AA, KK, QQ, AK, and so forth, you should still make sure you re-raise your opponent the majority of the time; however, it is crucial that you refrain from doing so, and instead choose to call more frequently with hands like JTs, A9s, 44, and so on.
In other words, best poker players use fewer 3-bet bluffs overall and more flat-calling with a larger range.
Photo by Pixabay
Steal Often From the Small Blinds
You can frequently steal dead money from the pot by open-raising a wider variety of hands. Without a doubt, this is the simplest method of reducing losses caused by the small blind.
Stealing at a high percentage takes advantage of players’ propensity to over-fold their big blind. You steal the 0.5BB from the small blind and the big blind’s 1BB when you win the pot before the flop.
Utilize a greater raise size than from other positions when trying to steal from the small blind. As you are out of position and have a fairly broad opening range, you must avoid giving your opponent too good of a price on a call.
A 3BB increase is about the right size. If it’s any smaller, the large blind will be more likely to call.
Because stealing wide is exploitative, you must alter your strategy if the opponent in the big blind makes the proper adjustments. Reduce your steal attempts and save them for a weak opponent if it turns out that they are aggressive, routinely 3-betting and snatching pots from you post-flop.
Don’t Donk Bet on the Blinds
Many less skilled players use the donk-betting strategy, which involves making a bet on the flop after calling a pre-flop raise to protect their hand and get value.
There are two reasons why you shouldn’t donk bet on the blinds:
Donk-betting worsens the range disadvantage the pre-flop caller already has.
The pre-flop caller does not include the strongest ranges because they would have 3-bet pre-flop if they did. Conversely, the aggressor’s range includes all of these hands.
In other words, a player who donk-bets is betting from a weaker range into a stronger one, which is a bad strategy. The pre-flop caller may, however, have more nutted combos on specific board textures than the pre-flop aggressor.
Donk-betting is fairly challenging to balance effectively.
Your checking range will become more limited if you lead out with value hands. While out of position, attempting to balance different ranges is extremely challenging and likely to be completed wrong.
Instead, check all your valuable hands to defend your checking range and stop your adversary from unfairly putting pressure on you when you check to them.
On some board textures, your checking range may become overly strong, leaving you vulnerable to an opponent who rarely bets on the flop. To lessen this issue, you can utilize an overbetting approach on favorable runouts over numerous streets.
Photo by Pixabay
Keep In Mind That Not All Blinds Are Equal
Never overlook the distinction between a small and big blind. That does not imply that you must always uphold your commitment because you contributed money to the pot. Playing the small blind to see the flop by spending a little extra money is a grave error. While holding half the blind increases your chances of winning the pot, there is still a significant chance that you will suffer greater losses. Remember that trying to hold onto the money you invested in the blinds will not result in a good profit.
Raise for Value
When professional poker players raise from the blinds, they do it to add value. So, you should only raise if you believe your hand is stronger than your opponents’ anticipated holdings. Getting sneaky from the blinds with small raises won’t help most players and will cause them to lose money.
Remember to play the remainder of the hand from an out-of-position once the pre-flop phase is over. Every hand you have becomes more challenging to play as a result. Playing draws and reading your opponents’ hands becomes more difficult. Even using your best hands to extract value becomes more difficult.
Losing chips from the blinds is a common problem in poker, but it can be minimized through effective strategy. To stop losing chips from the blinds, players should focus on defending their blinds selectively, adapting their approach to their opponents, and avoiding making marginal calls or raises from the blinds.
By implementing these strategies, poker players can reduce their losses from the blinds and increase their profitability. Remember, winning at poker is not just about the cards you are dealt but also about the decisions you make at every stage of the game.