As I mentioned in previous posts, I have won a one month training subscription to DeucesCracked.com which includes the unlimited use of their videos and reading materials. I have been watching training videos about how to improve my game of Texas Limit Hold “Em poker.
Episode three was about the importance of the blinds, the forced bets that players are required to make in Hold ‘Em. Typically the small blind bets 1/2 of a small bet and the big blind bets one small bet prior to being dealt cards. In a .50/1.00 table, the small bet is .50 cents and the large bet is 1.00. The small bet is used in pre-flop and after the flop betting. The limit is raised to the large bet size of $1.00 for bets made on the turn and the river.
As a poker player, who is in either the small blind or big blind, it is important to defend or protect your blinds from being stolen by an aggressive opponent. You defend the blinds by one of two actions; either by calling the raise or by re-raising the raiser.
The big blind: You should be able to call the bet because you are getting good odds to do so. If your cards are good enough, a raise for value might just win the pot without even seeing the flop if your opponent folds his hand.
The small blind is a little trickier. If there has been a raise before the betting gets to the small blind, defending the blind will depend on how many small bets need to be made and how good the hand is. If there has not been any raises when action gets to the small blind, it is ok to complete the bet by putting in the remaining 1/2 of the small bet as the small blind is getting at least 2 to 1 odds to call and maybe more if other players limped into the pot by just calling one small bet and not raising. What to do after the flop depends on whether the flop helped or improved your hand.
As the small blind and big blind are forced to bet, their cards can be considered to consist of a random hand. It is a goal of the professional poker player to try and get those blinds away from the players by either betting with a strong hand or by trying to bluff them into folding their hands. Many times a raise will cause both the small blind and the big blind to fold, giving you their blinds equal to 1 1/2 bets if you make a raise to two small bets. You only have to win 2 out of three times to show a profit. If you are re-raised you can make your decision as to what to do next based on how good your cards are.
Do you defend your blinds? Do you try to steal your opponents blinds or do you just play good hands?