Defend the Big Blind (Right Hand)

The Big Blind is a special position as there is already 1 Big Blind invested in the pot. For this reason, whenever you face a raise while sitting in the big blind, you will have better pot odds to call than any other position. Think of it as a discount.

Because of your discount and the fact that you are the last person to act preflop, you can call with more hands than if you sat in another position. That doesn’t mean you should call a raise with a trash hand like 9♠ 5♦, but larger hands like K♣ 9♦ and Q♥ 6♥ can be played in most situations.

The exact extent to which you need to defend will depend on a number of factors. Here are the four main factors:

Riser position

The number of players in the hand (if more than one player has already called a raise, plays tighter and only calls hands that are good in multiway pots).

The size of the raise (larger bet sizes require tighter play and vice versa).

Stack size (for short stacks, use less speculative hands and give preference to high card strength).

There are other important factors like how often your opponent will bet on continuation post flop, but the above three are the main ones you should consider.

Fold when in doubt

Want to know the biggest difference between an amateur and a professional player? It is the ability of a good player to put down a good hand, such as a top pair, when they think they are losing.

This sounds very simple, but it is very difficult to do in practice, in part because of the way our brains are built. We are naturally curious and want to win naturally. When we fold we give up our chance to win the pot and find out what our opponent has, not satisfying our curiosity.

Calling too often under the wrong circumstances is the second fastest way to lose in poker (after inefficient bluffs). Whenever you’re unsure whether to call or fold, bet or raise, service yourself and fold.

Pro Tip: When you fold in one of these situations, take note of the details of your hand so you can figure out if you made the right fold after the session. Studying and/or discussing these kinds of hands is a great way to continuously improve your skills and fill gaps in your poker knowledge.

Attack when you’re Opponent Shows Weakness

Players do not check multiple bets as frequently callable hands. This means that when they check they usually have a relatively weak hand to fold when faced with multiple bets. This is the “bluffing with nothing” situation I mentioned earlier.

When your opponent shows a lot of weakness in the heads-up pot (eg checking on the flop and turn), you can use your opponent as an aggressive bluffing strategy. Not only should you bet with your usual semi-bluff, but you should also bet on a hand with a little nothing, ideally   a pure bluff with a good blocker effect.

Play solid poker early in the tournament and don’t worry about surviving.

Stack preservation has a time and a place, and that’s not the beginning of a 온라인홀덤 tournament. This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of tournament poker strategy.

Consider that you need to at least double or triple your starting stack (usually more) to finish the money. Instead of playing defensively, you should play solid and aggressive poker early on to build the stack for deep runs.

You should start using a more survival-oriented play style only if you’re close to a short stack and your money bubble or paycheck soars.  You can learn more about the key parts of tournament strategy here.

Tournament play? You can read 7 Tournament Tips for Deep Learning more often.


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