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Re-stealing in Poker Tournaments

by Jeremy Olson on December 31, 2012

For those who hate feeling like they’re being run over during a poker tournament, the re-steal is a great way to counteract this problem. Re-stealing simply refers to 3-betting when you think an aggressive player is trying to steal blinds from late position.

Of course, just knowing what a re-steal is doesn’t mean you should use this move whenever you feel like it. Instead, it’s an action that requires good timing for you to be successful. This being said, let’s take a closer look at how to properly use re-steals as well as the basics of this move.

Basics of a Re-steal

Like we alluded to before, a re-steal is normally used in tournaments and sit and go’s. It’s best used later in tourneys when the blinds have reached a significant level. To illustrate an example of a re-steal, let’s say that a loose-aggressive player makes a 3xbb raise from the cut-off; while holding 8s-7c from the small blind, you reraise this player.

As you can see, this action is a bluff since your 8-7(o) hand is pretty weak for making a preflop reraise. So the whole goal here is to force your opponent to fold and steal the blinds/small pot.

When to Re-steal

Because re-steals are generally made when you have the worse hand, you’re going to need to know the opponent who originally raised. The ideal opponent is somebody who’s a solid player and likely stealing with a marginal hand while hoping to not get reraised. If they’re loose-aggressive, this is a huge bonus too because it makes the stealing probability higher.

Another factor to consider is your own table image. The tighter you’ve been playing in previous hands, the more believable your re-raise will be. Assuming you do get called, it’s always nice to have a hand that could connect such as small pocket pairs or suited connectors. One more thing to consider is position because you normally only want to re-steal from the blinds or late position.

Before you try re-steals, make sure you’ve made plenty of observations regarding your opponents. By doing so, you’ll have a much better idea of when perfect re-stealing opportunities arise.