It’s a common scenario in low limit holdem games: you’re in one of the blinds, and everyone folds until a player in late position raises. Sometimes the raiser has a good hand, but often they’re just trying to steal the blinds by having the small and big blind fold and win the pot right there. It can happen a lot, especially at a tight table, and if you fold to blind steals with all but your monster hands you’ll be losing more money than you should.
When you defend your blinds against late position raisers, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to win the pot pre-flop, or to win more money on the flop once your opponents have adjusted their range to average out their range of hands.
For example, against a player who raises most times pre-flop hands like hands like 2-7 or 5-3, you can narrow his range to hands like JJ-AA. If he raises with hands like those, you can lay down a hand like AT and take down the blinds.
Believe it or not, sometimes other players will come over the top of you and attempt to defend their blinds. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy in a sense because you’re giving yourself three opportunities right there to win the hand, and once a player has made it to the flop, they’re going to want to gamble as hard as they can, knowing that most of the time you’re going to be calling or folding your way.
Defending your blinds against late position aggression is a situation you’ll want to exploit to the max. slot gacor The money you sacrifice by not defending your blinds against aggression is well worth it in the opportunity to pick up blinds and antes. How often you get in trouble when playing after the flop is because you call too often, or not aggressive enough, or maybe you allows your opponents to steal the blinds and poker chips with the same hands they use to defend their blinds.
Imagine you’re in the small blind, and you have suited connectors. You raise 3x the big blind, and villain re-raises you all in. You have about 85% of the chips at the table, and right now you’re not really worried because you’re a sure lock for the blinds. The problem comes when the flop comes J-7-5. If villain has hit that flop, there’s nothing you can do about it except give up the hand and wait for a better opportunity.
There are 2 ways to defend your blinds against being steal with hands like these. You can either wait for a situation where villain will have to bet the flop to get you to fold, or you can bet enough to make it negative expectation against your play.
The first option (and the first one that springs to mind) is to bet enough to make it negative expectation, so if you make a $10 bet into a $10 pot you’ll be getting $20 back, and risking $10 of your poker chips to pick up another $10 on the flop. This is the essence of negative expectation. If you aren’t getting any value out of the hand, and things are looking scary, you can always fold.
The second option is a bit more complicated, and it involves what is called implied odds. When you think about it, implied odds are the odds you get when you assuming the action away from you. Let’s say for example that you have PC-9 and the flop is J-8-5. You only have middle pair, but you have an idea of what the opponent has. You have $30 in your stack, and he’s got $200. The pot odds give you an implied odds calculation of 5 to 1, which means -$30 odds in your favor. You call the bet, and villain calls. The turn comes a 6, and you lose to a set of trips.
The implied odds when you make a call to a steal are 4 to 1, which means you’re getting 3 to 1 in the pot odds you need. Which means as long as you actually have a winning hand, you will win the pot.
You can do this as either a defensive play, to get a free card, or as a way to build a pot, but either way, you’re making a play with positive expectation of winning the money in the pot.
Another way to build a pot is to use deception to get players to call you, or raise you without hitting a hand. Of course, you’re going to get calls and raises from players who are just hoping to hit something on the flop, but you’ll also get simple raises and folds to get your bets into a pot where you will win more often than not.