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Go Deeper: How to Improve Blind vs. Blind Play in Poker Tournaments

20 June 2016, By: compncards
One of the trickiest spots in tournament poker is pre-flop blind versus blind play.
adrien allain 3
adrien allain 3

Players that consistently perform well in blind vs. blind situations typically go deep in tournaments with greater frequency.

One problem with blind vs. blind play is that you're often going to be dealing with marginal hands. You counterbalance this by taking advantage of your position and properly reading your opponents.

Small Blind Play

When you're in the small blind you have three options. Keep in mind that when you continue in the hand from the small blind, you will always be out of position.

Your first option is folding. There's no shame in folding, especially if your hand is complete garbage.

Also, if you're playing against an aggressive player that is going to raise or three-bet you, you have to have a reasonable hand to continue.

Remember that you will always be out of position from the small blind, so folding is not a weak move.

Next, you have the option to raise. This is a great move if your opponent is passive.

Experienced players may play back at you so make sure you are raising these players with stronger holdings or controlling your bet sizing to the point where you can afford to call a three-bet.

Limping is a bad idea in general. The only times you should be considering this move is if you are against a calling station and want to speculate or if you are against an overly aggressive player and pick up a big hand.

Big Blind Play

When you're in the big blind you have position and you should be exploiting your position.

If the small blind raises you need to consider whether you have a strong enough hand to make a call or a three-bet.

Unless you have a solid holding or are facing an overly aggressive small-blind bettor, folding is fine.

If the small blind limps in, consider raising much more often. Don't do so with complete junk unless you're sure the player will fold. 

You'll take down the majority of blind vs. blind hands with a single raise, typically from the big blind.

Finally, you should only check your option if you have speculative hands or have something like a small pair and are trying to set mine. Otherwise, you're giving your opponent a chance to catch up.

Stay Aware of Stack Sizes

When the other blind is short stacked, this is a perfect spot for them to shove in hopes of doubling up. This is also a great spot for you to do the same.

Keep in mind that "short stacked" is relative in today's game. Most believe that they are short stacked anytime they are under 20 big blinds and will shove with a wide array of hands.

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