Stealing the Blinds in Poker

One great thing about having late position is that it enables you to steal the blinds more effectively. Of course, simply having late position doesn’t guarantee you of being able to steal the blinds; instead, you have to know a few extra tips for accomplishing this task as well. This being said, here is a look at some of the factors that will enable you to steal the blinds more often.

The Button

While it may be obvious to many players, the only time/place that you want to steal blinds is from the button when you’re folded to. The first reason why is because you only need to make two players fold when you’re raising from the button. The other main reason why stealing from the button works best is because you don’t want to be playing behind somebody else postflop if a player does call.

For instance, if you’re in the cutoff and you raise in an attempt to steal the blinds, you’re playing behind the button for the rest of the hand if they call. But if you get called by either the small or big blind, at least you have a positional advantage on them postflop. Of course, there are plenty of good players who get away with stealing the blinds from the cutoff, but they’re also experienced at profiling their opponents.

Raising Strategy When Stealing Blinds

Your main objective when stealing the blinds is to raise just enough to where players don’t want to call without a good hand. The reason why you want to raise with the minimum amount that will accomplish the job is because you don’t want to lose many chips if you get called or re-raised.

The size of your raise all depends on several factors including what type of players the small and big blinds are, where the blind levels are sitting, and what the stack sizes are.

For example, if you are in the early stages of an SNG and both blinds are calling stations, you would want to make a big raise (5X-6X the big blind) to force them to fold and steal the blinds. However, if you’re in the late stages of an SNG (high blind levels) on a tight table, a 2.5X-3X BB raise should be enough to get the job done.

Every situation will vary slightly, but these are the main things that you need to look at when attempting to steal the blinds.

  • Tom Dwyer

    Nice article on stealing blinds.