Stealing the blinds in Texas Hold’em is one of the easiest ways to consistently add chips to your stack with very little risk. It is an extremely important move to master, as even a few extra successful blind steals per hours can have a great impact on your winrate.
What is “Stealing the Blinds”?
Players are said to be stealing the blinds usually when they make a late position raise preflop with a subpar hand, hoping to simply with the small and big blind. It is most common to try and steal the blinds from the cut-off position, the button, or the small blind.
Cash Games versus Tournaments
While blind stealing is traditionally a fairly common poker tournament tactic, becoming adept at stealing the blinds in cash games will have a positive impact on your winrate. Every successful blind steal equals an additionally 0.75 big bets to your stack, or 1.5 big blinds. Targeting weaker opponents’ blinds will help you last longer in tournaments and win more money in cash games.
The winning of cash amount in the poker online site tournaments and leagues is easy. The beating of the opponent is easy with the participation in the league. The winning in cash will offer the best rewards to the players. The playing of the poker games is with the skills.
Online versus Live Poker
Being able to steal the blinds in online Texas Hold’em is even more important than being able to steal them in traditional live poker. This is because you will often see many more hands per hour playing online poker, especially if you’re multitabling cash games. Also, the online game is usually much tighter than live play. Stealing the blinds in short handed cash games is also very important, because the blinds come around much quicker than in full ring games.
In live poker cash games, players are much less likely to give up their blinds, as many live players play loose preflop and almost always want to see a flop. In live tournaments however, especially in events with a larger buy-ins, stealing blinds is very profitable, as many player playing in their first big tournament will play a very weak-tight strategy.
Effective Blind Stealing Strategies
The first thing that you should do to steal blinds successfully is make sure you’re not stealing the blinds too frequently. If you are constantly trying to steal the blinds, your table images will loosen and your opponents will treat your opening raises with less respect. Additionally, they may also start giving your bets and raises on other streets less respect, which has the potential to get you into trouble. So make sure you don’t attempt to steal the blinds every time the action is folded to you in late position. That way, you’re steal attempts will work more frequently.
Second, it is important that you vary your targets. While it’s usually best to try and steal the blinds of tighter and weaker opponents, if you get in the habit of stealing the blinds from the same person over and over, they will eventually fight back. Many players take repeated blind steals personally and will eventually make a stand. They may start defending their blinds with any two cards and 3-betting light, so make sure when they do that you’re not simply going for a blind steal.
Third, it’s important that you don’t give away your steal attempts based on your bet sizing. A good preflop strategy in Texas Hold’em involves using a standard preflop raise, usually of about 2.5 to 3 times the big blind. It’s usually a good idea to identify the standard preflop raise at the table and use if whenever you choose to raise preflop, either to steal the blinds or for value. This way your opponents won’t know your intentions.
Finally, mix up your stealing strategy.
It’s a good idea to occasionally attempt blind steals from early or middle position, since this will allow you to vary your targeted opponent on the big blind. A common strategy in large multi-table tournaments is to go for a blind steal when you’re first to act, or under the gun, because it’s expected that you would only raise from that position with a very strong hand.
It’s crucial that you let go of hands when your steal attempt comes up against resistance. If an opponent reraises you preflop and you have a terrible hand, it’s usually best to just let it go. Change gears and take a break from stealing the blinds for an orbit or two. The blind steal is a move that should be used sporadically. Remember, when you steal the blinds you’re simply looking to win the dead money in the pot preflop.
If you’re opponent simply calls your preflop raise and you have position, you can consider making a continuation bet, if the conditions are right. If you flop a very big hand, you may be able to take your opponent’s whole stack, because it will be difficult for him to put you on a hand. However, when you flop no pair and no draw on a random board, it is usually best just to check fold your hand and wait for a better spot.
Stealing the blinds in Texas Hold’em is a great move for adding money to your stack and mixing up your play if it is used properly. In order to be a successful blind stealer, make sure it’s applied occasionally against varying targets using a standard bet size. Don’t overdo it and make sure you’re willing to let go of your hand when necessary or else this move may end up costing you money in the long run.