Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Small Blind Call and Bet

While my SNG poker game has been nothing to brag about lately, there is one particular move that I've been using with much success. Its nothing new or mind blowingly clever, but it works well.

The situation is this. I'm in the small blind and it has been folded to me. I hate being in this spot. I feel obligated to raise, yet anytime someone raises in this situation it looks like a steal, and it seems like I get called/raised way more than I should. And I never get a good feel for where I am in the hand because I can't tell if my opponent has a hand or is just putting me on a steal attempt. And yet I can't fold. I'm getting 3:1 on my money by calling and he's not going to even challenge me with most hands.

So if you haven't guessed, I've started just calling and then min-betting no matter what on the flop. The min bet actually ends up being a half-pot sized bet. Sometimes I'll make it a full pot sized bet, but usually not.

I've found that my opponents are more likely to fold in this scenario than if I were to raise pre-flop.

Since I only call pre-flop, they are most likely just happy to see a free flop. If I raise they see it as a steal attempt and try to defend, but by calling they see more cards with no risk. Sure sometimes I get raised in this case, but then I've only lost a half bet, and if that happens five times I've still lost the same amount as if I had raised to 3x blinds and got reraised. So I get to see a cheap flop and they get to see a free one.

The automatic bet on the flop is just hoping that they didn't hit anything. Even if they suspect a steal here, they are less likely to try to call my bluff if they've missed the flop as well. And since I just called they have no idea what I have. If the flop is garbage, its possible I called with garbage and hit. If the flop has scare cards, and they don't, then maybe I was setting them up. Either way I've found that more often than not they fold. And if they do call, or raise, and I have nothing, I've risked very little chips and I can get out relatively cheaply.

Nothing too fancy, but I find that it helps me win more than my fair share of blind battles, in a situation where I'm normally not very confident in my hand.

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At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see this a lot (in my small stakes SNGs)and if someone is doing this a lot I'll keep floating them on the flop and bet/raise when they check the turn. I'll start raising them up preflop as well. So don't get trapped into playing the hand one way.

I still prefer to raise from the SB in a battle of the blinds. Taking the lead tends to result in the same of amount of folds with a cbet. I mix up a check raise here and there as well. Also allows for someone to get sick of it and play back at your big hands.

Interesting post, Blind vs Blind battles can get interesting.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger ZeRat11 said...

Yes, it is definitely a small stakes strategy, and if some one does start pushing back at you, you'll have to adjust. But I've experienced significantly less push back using this method than raising pre-flop, so its worth a try.


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