Aug 20, 2018


The blind stealing is a situation when the move is carried out with any two cards, including weak hands or garbage and the pot only contains the two blinds. If you are in the late position either on the button or cutoff and are first to act, you raise pre-flop in a hope of picking up the blinds. It is deemed as the most important factor of playing cost-effective pre-flop poker. In a layman language, it is any open-raise made from the SB, Button or CO. You have a blind steal opportunity if everybody so far has folded and you are on the button. Here are a few tips to make the best out of stealing blinds-

Understanding the system- Most successful blind stealing opportunities take place in the first hand of the blinds changing. Show your good hands and bluff with a near zero frequency. Create a very tight but very aggressive table image.

Passive big blind- Any player who decides to attack the passive big blind will certainly profit as this player is particularly free money. You may have to concede the passive blinds to him if he has a position on you, depending on how he opts to fight the pots. React according to the situation, if you have a position on the aggressive player, then you should play back at him regularly.

Know your opponents- A few players will just love to put you in the complicated situation by re-raising your blind take attempts. You need to be really cautious with your attempts of blind steal, especially when sitting to their right corner. There will also be some players who will fold approximately no matter which to a raise. Give their hand a respect on the flop if they call, it might lead to worse hand on the flop, but you can still enhance your stealing range against these players.

When you get caught- Your history will definitely be jot down by your opponents sitting at your table if you are caught blind stealing. It will lessen your tight table or any fold equity image. However, you can turn a loose table image in your favor by overplaying superior hands such as QQ or KK, particularly against loose opponents.

When to give up- The most difficult moment of blind stealing in Texas Hold’em is when the action has not yet finished by the turn. At this time, you may have the benefit of position, but you should give up the hand if your opponent starts to show signs of aggression.

Do remember that blind stealing is a small pot strategy, so avoid putting up your entire stack and moderate your blind stealing attempts if you have a few calling stations behind you. Take advantage of your average player’s inability to correctly adjust to increasing blinds instead of slowly adjusting your aggression, which would indeed be a scientifically correct way to play.

The bubble is one of the most significant stages of any poker tournaments and is also one of the easiest to get all wrong. It may let you wonder whether you should be getting in such kind of situation in the first place. Some player will always show that they do not care whether they win money or not, but when bubble approaches, nobody wants to be the last to leave without money.

Stacks- Most of the tournament have such flexible bubbles that it can be used to structure your pre-bubble strategy with a stack that allows you to steal. It simply means passing on thin gambles when losing the pot would leave you unable to steal on the bubble or taking gambles when you don’t have hope of doubling up to a healthy stack.

Play the last bet- As it is a lot tougher to call a push with a marginal hand than it is to push, so try to structure your betting in such a way that you are the only player pushing all-in. You will notice that most players will not be interested in going after the flop if you play your draws aggressively. It’s not always necessary that if your opponent decides to see a flop, he has a big hand. Most of the time, they are just doing it to get a cheap showdown.

Blinds- You should defend their blinds if the play-to-cashers are not doing so. Don’t think an aggressive player on your right as a cramp, but instead, it is an opportunity for you as he is putting a lot of money into the pot that he cannot defend. It will always be a win-win situation for you as either he will keep raising and donating to you or he stop raising and let you go back to picking on the weak players' blinds.

Pay attention to chat- You can get a lot of clues from the chat about table nods or who is playing to cash. Players will comment on how often you have been calling or raising. They might also threaten to call you next time. So, try to focus on such chats as they might help you make tough decisions when facing a re-steal.

Know the players- You should start paying attention to who is making big laydowns and who is not defending the blinds. You should start evaluating probable play-to-casher even before the bubble begins. The tactic of open raise depends on three factors- your cards, your position and who is in the blind.

Not playing position- Your opponents won’t know when it is safe making a stand against you by being constantly aggressive. You won’t lose too much if you have to fold while making a less than standard raise. Make your move if there is a better than even chance you can steal this pot. It is a huge mistake to fold when it’s folded around to you and you are acting in the position. So, always raise in position unless you are facing an extreme stack.

It is gloomy, but simple that if you play a lot of poker games, you are going to bubble a lot of tournaments. You are going to lose some painful coin flips, take some horrific bad beats, cost yourself money, miss out on a lot of big tables and final table bubble a lot of big tournaments. So, better understand the dynamics and realities of the bubbles, it will help you able to crush the bubble stages of all major tournaments.

Poker entails a basic understanding of three important things- Mathematics, Psychology, and Discipline. Self-control is the key to getting success in your long poker career and this is the one common thing in many successful poker players. Patience or discipline is as important as the cards you play in poker. It is crucial for both online and live casino games. You should be able to release hands that are likely beaten or don’t stand a chance to improve.

You lack discipline if-

  • You think you are better than you really are
  • You are not taking your game seriously enough
  • You are not concentrating on your opponents
  • You are playing drunk
  • You are not having adequate bankroll

Test yourself

Let’s say you have a set, the board contains three cards of the same suit and a very aggressive opponent who is clearly showing that he has the flush. It needs a lot of mental and emotional strength to fold this hand. It is really important to test yourself by laying down a big hand when you instinctively know you that are behind.

Know your essentials

You will rarely hope to be lucky if you know your skills, know the odds and know the rules. A disciplined player would leave the game and wouldn’t rely on hope if the odds are not in his/her favor. He will be well aware what cards should be held and what should be folded.

Stay away from tilt

Tilt is generally associated with the loss of a big pot or a bad beat. If you notice any signs of tilt, it is better to take a walk for 10-15 minutes. Many players make the mistake of playing the game when on tilt and end up losing lots of money. You should prepare yourself that anything can happen in poker and you can suffer bad beats or bad plays just like any other player. Take a break to calm down and evaluate your play.

Study regularly

Read books based on poker strategies to clear your basics and to get greater insights. There are so many blogs and forums for poker players which are ideal for both beginners and pros. They are free and a great source for current updates. You can also read free e-books on poker to get started.

Some players are so edgy about recovering their losses after a bad beat that they play irrespective of what cards they are dealt. If you are playing too many hands because of boredom and impatience, you are not intensifying your profits but just risking your money. Having discipline and patience will let you control the game, instead of letting the game control you.

Poker success or failure is based on the existence of a competitive benefit over your opponents. How do I improve my poker game? Why am I losing so much money in live poker tournaments? Why I, cannot make money while playing online poker? These are some pretty elusive questions you will find on almost all internet forums. Here is a quick list of the top reasons why people lose when playing poker-

Tilting Mode Always ON

It is the most precarious reason to lose any game. It is the condition of making wrong decisions due to mental deficiency. You should know that anything can happen in poker and you can suffer bad plays or bad beats just like any other player. Many players make the mistake of playing the game when on tilt and end up losing lots of money. It is better to take a walk for 10-15 minutes if you notice any signs of tilt.

You Don’t Believe in Bankroll Management

You might risk a lot more if you are not befittingly bankrolled for the table stakes you are playing at. Managing bankroll is really important since you will raucously experience winning streaks and losing streaks.

You CHECK/CALL More Often than BET/RAISE

If you are only checking or calling, then you are giving your opponents the opportunity to take pots away with their own aggression and by not raising, you lose value on your good hands. Being aggressive gives you better prospects to pick up pots when you don’t have a hand and it allows you to amplify the value on your made hands. Most successful poker players are very aggressive and they would rather bet or raise than simply check or call.

You Don’t Make Proper Bets

Missing value in bets is same as losing money, many players bet too small even with big hands as they don’t want to scare their opponents away. Your main goal is to take your opponents entire stack when you make a big hand and to maximize your value on your big hands.

You Play Out of Position

You give your opponent the advantage of seeing how you act before they act when you play out of position. Blinds and buttons are some of the best positions to re-raise. Re-raising from the button will give an impression that you have strong hands as many players simply do not risk to re-raise with marginal hands.

You Play Drunk

Playing poker drunk is an awful thing you can do to yourself and to your money. You will end up losing lots of money or will go on tilt. It might give you a boost or thrill, but losing your own money is just not exciting. So, play first and drink later.

The cards won’t be able to save you if you are playing at a disadvantage. These tips will help you avoid these things and win more real cash in poker.

Poker is generally adjudged by the decisions made by the poker players while playing the live poker tournaments. So, people have different opinions on who they think is the best poker player in the world according to them. Some might consider speed and some might consider strength required to play in the live poker game. We bring out our list of few interesting poker players which we think fits well into this list.

Daniel Negreanu

Total winnings – $30,516,290

Known by the nickname “Kid Poker”, Daniel Negreanu lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is also the only player to win World Series bracelets in Australia, Europe, and Las Vegas.

Antonio Esfandiari

Total winnings – $25,541,952

Known by the nickname “The Magician”, Antonio Esfandiari was born in Iran and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He came into the news when he beat a star-studded field to win poker’s biggest ever prize of more than $18.3m.

Erik Seidel

Total winnings – $21,083,047

Known by the nickname “Sly / Seiborg”, Erik Seidel career came into the news in 2011 when he won more than $6.5m. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. He won the 2015 European Poker Tour Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for €2,015,000.

Sam Trickett

Total winnings – $19,439,355

Known by the nickname “Tricky”, Sam Trickett lives in East Retford, Nottingham, UK and is the only European poker player in the Top 10 and came into limelight when he won over $10 million in prize money for finishing second, losing heads-up to Antonio Esfandiari in the Big One for One Drop.

Phil Ivey

Total winnings – $19,224,828

Known by the nickname “The Tiger Woods of Poker / No Home Jerome”, Phil Ivey lives in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. He won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2000 and got first place in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for $2m.

Phil Hellmuth

Total winnings – $16,163,208

Known by the nickname “The Poker Brat”, Phil Hellmuth lives in Palo Alto, California USA. His Favorite Poker Game is Texas Hold’em. He is the winner of the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Michael Mizrachi

Total winnings – $14,322,359

Known by the nickname “The Grinder”, Michael Mizrachi lives in Hollywood, Florida USA. He made the headlines when he got a fifth place and won $2.3m in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event.

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