Getting Robbed Blind
A Simple No Foldem Holdem Blind Strategy
Playing the blinds is challenging regardless of what level hold 'em game you are playing. Since you are forced to make your initial bet before you see your cards you will very often be playing non-premium hands before the flop, and many times you'll have to make a decision about whether or not to continue in the face of one or more raises.
How you play the blinds can often be the difference between winning or losing.
The blinds, which are typically one small bet in the big blind and one half small bet in the small blind (typically a $3 bet BB and $1 bet SB in a $3/$6 game) have some big disadvantages.
- You've made a bet without seeing your cards. That means that 70 percent of the time you're going to be looking at what would normally be considered a junk hand like J5o.
- You are in the worst possible positions for the rest of the betting rounds. If luck favored you and you flopped a monster hand it is going to be challenging to maximize the size of the pot.
Here's our advice for playing the blinds in a loose passive low limit game:
- Obviously if there are no raises you're going to see the flop in the big blind. If you do flop something good play it aggressively. If you flop a weak top pair then usually bet out. If you flop something bigger than a weak top pair then check raise on the flop if you are fairly certain someone will bet. Your position is bad so go for the pot. If you flop something weaker than top pair and there are two or more other people in the pot then check and fold.
- If you are faced with a raise then follow the starting hand guidelines. You can treat the big blind vs. a single raise as if you were in middle position. If your hand doesn't warrant calling then get out, you will save (aka make) more money in the long run by abandoning the blind to most raises. The exception to this is the fairly rare case in low limit hold 'em where everyone has folded to the dealer who raises. Here you need to have some idea whether they are on a steal attempt and sometimes you will need to play back at them aggressively. In this situation keep in mind that the hand values have changed a lot and now an ace and a rag is a very decent hand to have and can often win without improvement.
- If you are faced with one or more raises vs a good number of players and you hold a premium hand like AKs, AQs, AA, KK or QQ then you should often re-raise from the big blind position. People with marginal hands have already been trapped into the hand and you should further punish them here since it's unlikely a raise will cause anyone already playing to fold.
Most of the time you will be folding your blinds, either before the flop in response to raises or after the flop in response to having a marginal (or worse) hand.