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Blind Stealing 101

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  1. #1
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Default Blind Stealing 101

    Introduction

    A few people have been posting stats threads lately and I've seen a trend that really needs to be addressed. Most of the people I've seen stats on are not stealing blinds nearly enough, and aren't defending their blinds nearly enough. I've decided to type up something quick to show why it's an issue.

    ** Note that I'm not going to be addressing situations where the effective stacks are less than 40bb.

    An Abstract Example

    It's folded to you on the button with 100bb effective stacks. This is your first orbit at the table, and you have no history with either of the blinds. Through data mining, you know that the small blind is 13/9 and the big blind is 12/8.

    Let's consider what happens if you open raise 4x with any two cards.

    Assume for the sake of discussion that the small blind is going to call a raise with 13% of his starting hands, and the big blind is going to call with 12% of his starting hands. This means that the small blind will fold 87% of the time and the big blind will fold 88% of the time, so they both fold 76.56% of the time.

    So you win 1.5bb 76.56% of the time and lose 4bb 23.44% of the time. Know what that means? On average, you'll win 0.2108bb just from the blind steal, not counting any EV we get post-flop. We see that against nits who don't adjust for people stealing their blinds, we can steal with any two for a good profit.

    A Real-World Example

    Now I'm going to give an actual example based on the stats that dozer and Jimmy Mac posted in the past day or so. I'm not picking on anyone, but when you use data from real players then they tend to take it to heart a little more.

    So assume the same situation as above, except we have dozer in the big blind and Jimmy Mac in the small blind. According to their stats posts, dozer folds his big blind to a steal 83.23% of the time, and Jimmy Mac folds his small blind to a steal 91.13% of the time. If we raise 4x, then they both fold 75.85% of the time. On average, we would make 0.1718bb from raising any two cards against them, without counting any post-flop EV.

    The Calculation

    To find out the EV of a button blind steal spot with any two cards (assuming your opponents aren't adjusting) it's a rather easy calculation. First find out what % of the time both blinds will fold. To do this, you multiply the BB's fold to steal % with the SB's fold to steal %, and we'll call this value F. In the example with dozer and Jimmy Mac, we did 0.8323 * 0.9113 = 0.7585, so they'll both fold 75.85% of the time.

    Now to calculate the EV of raising 4x with any two cards, you do (1.5 * F) - (4 * (1-F)). In the example with dozer and Jimmy Mac, we did (1.5 * 0.7585) - (4 * (1-0.7585)) = 0.1718, so we'll win 0.1718bb on average.

    With just a little work, we discover that anytime the blinds have an average fold to steal % over 85.28%, we can make a blind steal with any two cards profitable, even if we check/fold every flop we see. This is why my initial goal when I was working on defending my blinds more was to get my fold to steal% to 85% in both blinds.

    Practical Use

    Now just because we think we can steal profitably with any two cards doesn't mean that we should. If we steal every single time, then our opponents will start to notice what's going on and they will adjust, so it's better to practice some sort of moderation. The best form of moderation for spots like this is to play hands that have the most potential for post-flop play.

    Also, it's important to steal blinds with non-premium hands against players who are loose as well. When you make a blind steal, you have an advantage in initiative and position, which is often enough that the strength of the cards don't matter. By mixing up your play, you also make it harder to read your hands, which is one important step towards becoming a better player as you move up through the limits.

    We know that the playability of a starting hand is based on how big the cards are, how connected the cards are, and if the cards are suited or not. For example, J2o might be a preflop favorite against 98s (it has 51.147% equity to be exact), but you'd be better off having 98s when a tight opponent calls your blind steal. With our knowledge of how hands play post-flop, we can make some generalizations about which non-premium hands are best to steal with.

    Suited connectors T9s-54s and suited one-gappers J9s-53s should be added to your button and cutoff stealing ranges immediately. You should be raising these most of the time against any two villains.

    If the remaining people in the pot are tight, then you can open up even more with unsuited connectors, any ace, suited kings, and K7o+. Even if you get called, you still have a hand to play.

    Target Stats

    If you're playing 50nl or below, then your attempt to steal % should be 30 at the very least. You can maintain this while playing a nit-ass 13/11 or so game pretty easy, so contrary to what may be popular belief, stealing blinds doesn't mean that you have to become a laggy maniac.

    Once you get more comfortable and start finding good spots to exploit nits, you can probably get it up to 35%-38% without much trouble, but I would suggest slowly opening up and adding hands to your LP range instead of trying to jump into playing a game that you're not used to.

    Conclusion

    My conclusion is that you're all nits and suck at life. Just kidding. Here's what I suggest you guys that are running like a 24% attempt to steal do to open up your game:

    1. Immediately add T9s-54s to your button and cutoff open raising ranges against any villains. Also add J9s-53s to your button open raising range against any two opponents.

    2. Once you get comfortable with #1, open any suited ace from the button, and add J9s-53s to your cutoff open raising range when the button is tight.

    3. Once you get comfortable with #2, start opening suited aces from the cutoff when the button is tight. You can also start adding the bigger suited connectors, suited aces, and suited one-gappers from the HJ when both the button and cutoff and blinds are tight.

    It's a gradual process. Don't try to open up too much at one time. Get comfortable playing non-premiums in these spots, and slowly open up. If you guys have any questions/comments/whatever, throw them up.
  2. #2
    Wow, all I can say is nice post. Very insightful, as I personally had been wondering (well, I figured I should be, but didn't know approximately how much more) if I should be attempting to steal blinds more (I play pretty tight pf, and my attempt to steal blinds is ~20).
  3. #3
    sweetlemon69's Avatar
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    I love it when a great forum has great people giving great advise. Much appreciated spoon, a true gentleman and scholar. Another tool to my game. I love how you used dozer as an example, we're about to go to a buddies house for a live game, so if he hasn't read this post yet, i'm totally going to try to exploit him
  4. #4

    Default Re: Blind Stealing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    1. Immediately add T9s-54s to your button and cutoff open raising ranges against any villains. Also add J9s-53s to your button open raising range against any two opponents.

    2. Once you get comfortable with #1, open any suited ace from the button, and add J9s-53s to your cutoff open raising range when the button is tight.

    3. Once you get comfortable with #2, start opening suited aces from the cutoff when the button is tight. You can also start adding the bigger suited connectors, suited aces, and suited one-gappers from the HJ when both the button and cutoff and blinds are tight.
    I'm curious as to why you've chosen the order in which we should open up with. Could you possibly go into your thinking as to why it would best to start with 1 and move to 2, then 3?
  5. #5
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blind Stealing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    1. Immediately add T9s-54s to your button and cutoff open raising ranges against any villains. Also add J9s-53s to your button open raising range against any two opponents.

    2. Once you get comfortable with #1, open any suited ace from the button, and add J9s-53s to your cutoff open raising range when the button is tight.

    3. Once you get comfortable with #2, start opening suited aces from the cutoff when the button is tight. You can also start adding the bigger suited connectors, suited aces, and suited one-gappers from the HJ when both the button and cutoff and blinds are tight.
    I'm curious as to why you've chosen the order in which we should open up with. Could you possibly go into your thinking as to why it would best to start with 1 and move to 2, then 3?
    The idea is to open up just a little bit at a time so that you're not getting too far out of your comfort zone at one time. Also, the things you learn when playing more suited connectors post-flop (being more aggressive with draws, playing top pair with hands like 87s, among other things) help you play suited 1-gappers and Axs in a more +EV way.
  6. #6

    Default Re: Blind Stealing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    1. Immediately add T9s-54s to your button and cutoff open raising ranges against any villains. Also add J9s-53s to your button open raising range against any two opponents.

    2. Once you get comfortable with #1, open any suited ace from the button, and add J9s-53s to your cutoff open raising range when the button is tight.

    3. Once you get comfortable with #2, start opening suited aces from the cutoff when the button is tight. You can also start adding the bigger suited connectors, suited aces, and suited one-gappers from the HJ when both the button and cutoff and blinds are tight.
    I'm curious as to why you've chosen the order in which we should open up with. Could you possibly go into your thinking as to why it would best to start with 1 and move to 2, then 3?
    The idea is to open up just a little bit at a time so that you're not getting too far out of your comfort zone at one time. Also, the things you learn when playing more suited connectors post-flop (being more aggressive with draws, playing top pair with hands like 87s, among other things) help you play suited 1-gappers and Axs in a more +EV way.
    Now that makes complete sense, thanks for explaining it.
  7. #7
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    Nice post! I do really need to open my game out a little, here seems like a good place to start. How are you adjusting to loose players behind you or in the blinds? I find I dont want to raise 67s if there is a donkey with 50bb still to act, should I tend to stick to high cards and Ax in this case?

    Also, would be nice to hear something on blind defence. Im folding to steals something stupid like 90% :/ I 3bet or fold against probable steals but Im thinking I'm not 3 betting them nearly enough. Do you ever cold call a steal from the BB?
  8. #8
    euphoricism's Avatar
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    Youre forgetting the cbet on the flop. The cbet changes our EV drastically, if we make it (and we should)
    <Staxalax> Honestly, #flopturnriver is the one thing that has improved my game the most.
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  9. #9
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Mac
    Nice post! I do really need to open my game out a little, here seems like a good place to start. How are you adjusting to loose players behind you or in the blinds? I find I dont want to raise 67s if there is a donkey with 50bb still to act, should I tend to stick to high cards and Ax in this case?

    Also, would be nice to hear something on blind defence. Im folding to steals something stupid like 90% :/ I 3bet or fold against probable steals but Im thinking I'm not 3 betting them nearly enough. Do you ever cold call a steal from the BB?
    I'm opening suited connectors like every time against any villains in the blinds unless they have stacks less than about 40bb. Truth be told, I'm raising suited one-gappers, unsuited connectors, and Axs against any two villains in the blinds around 75% of the time as well. I don't really adjust to loose players by playing less hands, I adjust to tight ones by playing more.

    Blind defense is the next step, and likely what my next longer post will be about.

    Quote Originally Posted by euphoricism
    Youre forgetting the cbet on the flop. The cbet changes our EV drastically, if we make it (and we should)
    Yeah but that's a bit of a blanket statement that could send some people in the wrong direction. In general, we should be more aggressive against passives in blind steal situations, since they're less likely to call down with marginal hands, but I'm going to share some thoughts on this when I talk about blind defense.
  10. #10
    I've opened my LP range a fair bit lately, but I still don't like to do it with more than one limper behind -- then I usually limp behind.

    ...too passive?
  11. #11
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer
    I've opened my LP range a fair bit lately, but I still don't like to do it with more than one limper behind -- then I usually limp behind.

    ...too passive?
    It depends. Playing behind limpers is something I'm going to address later and tie in most of what I talked about here.
  12. #12
    Chopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphoricism
    Youre forgetting the cbet on the flop. The cbet changes our EV drastically, if we make it (and we should)
    kind of what i was wondering since i tend to cbet a good bit on the flop. i know its two separate things, but suppose you combine your wider stealing range with an almost automatic cbet, how do you calculate the EV for the steal attempt?

    or, do you just stick to not cbetting such marginal hands you are basically only stealing blinds with?
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  13. #13
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper
    Quote Originally Posted by euphoricism
    Youre forgetting the cbet on the flop. The cbet changes our EV drastically, if we make it (and we should)
    kind of what i was wondering since i tend to cbet a good bit on the flop. i know its two separate things, but suppose you combine your wider stealing range with an almost automatic cbet, how do you calculate the EV for the steal attempt?

    or, do you just stick to not cbetting such marginal hands you are basically only stealing blinds with?
    Why would you normally c-bet? You've probably got a few reasons you could name.

    Now apply those reasons here.
  14. #14
    What does pokertracker consider a chance to steal? Yesterday I was stealing with atc on the button any time it folded to me, and very liberally from the cutoff. I only got to 35 percent but it was a small sample.

    Is chance to steal big blind from small blind included when it folds around to sb?

    Great post.
  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegascoop
    What does pokertracker consider a chance to steal? Yesterday I was stealing with atc on the button any time it folded to me, and very liberally from the cutoff. I only got to 35 percent but it was a small sample.

    Is chance to steal big blind from small blind included when it folds around to sb?

    Great post.
    i was about to post the same question. from what i understood, "stealing" is raising from CO and BTN only. i dont know if its when folded to. and i dont think it includes from sb. i wanted a double check myself because players at 25NL are rarely over 10%. and, i know more of them play position than that would indicate. if not, i would be surprised.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  16. #16
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    The attempt to steal % in Poker Tracker is based off what % of time you open raise from the cutoff, button and small blind when folded to.
  17. #17
    Chopper's Avatar
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    wow. i thought mine would be higher, then. hmmmm.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  18. #18
    that makes sense then, just co and btn when folded to. So, the more limping and multi-way pots in your game the fewer opportunities. I would assume as you move up and the games tighten up and become more aggressive, this number will increase. I'll be all out to get it >30 at NL50 but I'm going to try and keep it there.
  19. #19
    I think this applies a little less to microstakes. On the really really loose tables you find down there this will often get you into potentially expensive multi-ways vs stations who will call mid-pair+ down on you, and the c-bet costs you more...

    depends really on the 3 or 4 villains to your left + limpers...

    I think the fact that poker is like...almost always 'it depends', makes it the great game it is
  20. #20
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegascoop
    that makes sense then, just co and btn when folded to. So, the more limping and multi-way pots in your game the fewer opportunities. I would assume as you move up and the games tighten up and become more aggressive, this number will increase. I'll be all out to get it >30 at NL50 but I'm going to try and keep it there.
    I tried something this morning to verify an estimation I had. Opening these hands on the CO and button seem to put us right at 30%:

    CO - All broadways, suited connectors 54s+, all suited aces.
    BU - Add all suited 1-gappers 53s+, unsuited connectors 54o+, all suited kings, and all aces.

    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer
    I think this applies a little less to microstakes. On the really really loose tables you find down there this will often get you into potentially expensive multi-ways vs stations who will call mid-pair+ down on you, and the c-bet costs you more...

    depends really on the 3 or 4 villains to your left + limpers...

    I think the fact that poker is like...almost always 'it depends', makes it the great game it is
    Why are you scared of multi-way pots here? Suited connectors, suited 1-gappers, and suited aces all play well multi-way, especially against calling stations. Your advantage is then compounded by having the best position post-flop.

    Exploiting opponent tendencies applies to all levels. Playing hands in position and with initiative applies to all levels. Blind stealing applies to all levels.
  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer
    I think this applies a little less to microstakes. On the really really loose tables you find down there this will often get you into potentially expensive multi-ways vs stations who will call mid-pair+ down on you, and the c-bet costs you more...

    depends really on the 3 or 4 villains to your left + limpers...

    I think the fact that poker is like...almost always 'it depends', makes it the great game it is
    Why are you scared of multi-way pots here? Suited connectors, suited 1-gappers, and suited aces all play well multi-way, especially against calling stations. Your advantage is then compounded by having the best position post-flop.

    Exploiting opponent tendencies applies to all levels. Playing hands in position and with initiative applies to all levels. Blind stealing applies to all levels.
    Yeah, I agree with SC, Axs -- but hands like ATo, K9o get dodgy behind multiple limpers IMO
  22. #22
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer
    I think this applies a little less to microstakes. On the really really loose tables you find down there this will often get you into potentially expensive multi-ways vs stations who will call mid-pair+ down on you, and the c-bet costs you more...

    depends really on the 3 or 4 villains to your left + limpers...

    I think the fact that poker is like...almost always 'it depends', makes it the great game it is
    Why are you scared of multi-way pots here? Suited connectors, suited 1-gappers, and suited aces all play well multi-way, especially against calling stations. Your advantage is then compounded by having the best position post-flop.

    Exploiting opponent tendencies applies to all levels. Playing hands in position and with initiative applies to all levels. Blind stealing applies to all levels.
    Yeah, I agree with SC, Axs -- but hands like ATo, K9o get dodgy behind multiple limpers IMO
    That's why we target who we go after with this play and don't do it against every single villain. Btw take all of this about play after limpers to the raising after limpers thread. Ty.
  23. #23
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    This is great stuff spoon!

    You say it doesn't matter if the blinds are aggressive, can you explain that a little more? I mean, if there is only a 10% chance the BB folds, that should change a lot. Right?
  24. #24
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    Great OP. Wish I'd read this before now as my att. to steal is about 25%. The simple maths showing how its +EV makes so much sense. Thanks a lot.
  25. #25
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSyphon
    This is great stuff spoon!

    You say it doesn't matter if the blinds are aggressive, can you explain that a little more? I mean, if there is only a 10% chance the BB folds, that should change a lot. Right?
    Think about what you're saying -- if he's only folding 10%, that means he's playing 90% of hands. This is obviously easy to rape in position, even if we're opening 40-50% of hands, just because we'll have a stronger range and position.
  26. #26
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Bump for all of the nits who keep posting stats that make me want to cry.
  27. #27
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    This thread needs a bump but I decided to throw out a nifty-looking chart this time.

    We all know that we always have equity when someone calls our raise, so we know that a blind steal that is exactly break even just from fold equity will be +EV since we will [hopefully] be +EV post-flop with our positional advantages the times we are just called. To give an idea of how much this can change things, I threw together a quick chart to show some numbers for a hypothetical situation in which both blinds fold or we are only called by 1 blind. On this chart, x is the minimal amount of post-flop equity we are assuming we have, y=f(x) is the amount of times both blinds would have to fold for us to break even based on the appropriate x, and the last column is the square root of y, which is how often each blind would have to fold for us to break even if they always fold the same % of hands.

    Code:
    x     y=f(x)  sqr(y)
    --------------------
    0.00  0.7273  0.8528
    0.01  0.7245  0.8512
    0.02  0.7217  0.8495
    0.03  0.7188  0.8478
    0.04  0.7159  0.8461
    0.05  0.7129  0.8443
    0.06  0.7099  0.8425
    0.07  0.7067  0.8407
    0.08  0.7036  0.8388
    0.09  0.7003  0.8368
    0.10  0.6970  0.8348
    0.11  0.6936  0.8328
    0.12  0.6901  0.8307
    0.13  0.6865  0.8286
    0.14  0.6829  0.8264
    0.15  0.6791  0.8241
    0.16  0.6753  0.8218
    0.17  0.6714  0.8194
    0.18  0.6674  0.8169
    0.19  0.6633  0.8144
    0.20  0.6591  0.8118
    0.21  0.6548  0.8092
    0.22  0.6503  0.8064
    0.23  0.6458  0.8036
    0.24  0.6411  0.8007
    0.25  0.6364  0.7977
    0.26  0.6314  0.7946
    0.27  0.6264  0.7915
    0.28  0.6212  0.7882
    0.29  0.6159  0.7848
  28. #28
    wesrman's Avatar
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    Bump cuz i need to read this again.
  29. #29
    I just come across this thread by chance (link in another thread)

    Really enjoyed reading it. My problem is something not really mentioned in this thread (unless I am blind)

    Playing 6 max, if you happen to be on a table of nits, You get many situations where it is folded round to SB v BB. This is a major leak in my game I feel.

    I'm not so bad from the BB. I mean first of all you have position there. Something you don't hear mentioned much, but it is like having the button in a heads up contest. If I see someone stealing a lot, I wont call them, I 3 bet them. Then if they raise, I give them credit for a good hand. If someone is tight , then they fold it to you often. Thanks very much. If they Limp a lot then I will raise them a lot if I think they will fold.

    However in the small blind, I am never sure what cards I need to play against the BB. I hate limping in it, seems so silly when you can raise and take the pot, which is fine if you have a nit in the blind. However when you come up against someone with a bit of resistance, I find myself folding the blind.

    Say I am in the BB with K6o, against someone who will defend his blind 1 in 3 times, whats the move ? When I say defend I am including a call in that, because that is where I get in the most bother. What is the move? K6o rates to be ahead of 2 random cards I would say. It is playing the hand out of position which gets me in to bad situations.

    *Edit* Just noticed this is in FR forum, it is still a valid post though , hopefully
  30. #30
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, if you're on the BB you're not out of position.
  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    For what it's worth, if you're on the BB you're not out of position.
    I know, that was a point I was trying to make. Maybe I'm just not very good at writing what I am trying to say.

    It is the SB I have trouble with more than when I am in the BB.
  32. #32
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    Suited connectors T9s-54s and suited one-gappers J9s-53s should be added to your button and cutoff stealing ranges immediately. You should be raising these most of the time against any two villains.

    If the remaining people in the pot are tight, then you can open up even more with unsuited connectors, any ace, suited kings, and K7o+. Even if you get called, you still have a hand to play.
    I like that advice. I've been reading these forums for a long time and too often all the posts assume that we should all know all the answers. I think I probably raise most of those hands, but hadn't thought about how often the SB/BB fold to a blind steal that much (probably one of the many shortfalls in my game). thanks.
  33. #33
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    *Bump*
  34. #34
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    Such a good post no matter how many times I read it!
    "You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience...
    The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck."

    Quote Originally Posted by XxStacksxX View Post
    Do you have testicles? If so, learn to bet like it
  35. #35
    this is an awesome thread! I've been pondering blind stealing lately and my question would be what do you do if you get 3bet? if you steal a lot how do you estimate if he actually has a good hand or is just trying to protect? which hands do you call with and which do you fold? this is a major question for me right now and I have no idea how to think about it so any ideas are appreciated thanks!
  36. #36
    HarleyGuy13's Avatar
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    ymbkm I'm far from an expert but what I do myself is only call when I have my normal 3bet calling hands. Other than that I just fold and then wait for a good hand before I'll steal again so that I can be sure and call should I get 3bet again.
    "You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience...
    The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck."

    Quote Originally Posted by XxStacksxX View Post
    Do you have testicles? If so, learn to bet like it
  37. #37
    Thanks Harley! that's actually a neat idea. I kinda like it even though it probably will kill 30+ steal rate suggested here.. but it's at least some sort of strategy rather than just randomly calling like I end up doing most of the time
  38. #38
    CBAT's Avatar
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    If it is someone with a near 100bb stack and they have raised from say 3bb to 10bb, you want to call with hands that flop well. Suited connectors/suited broadways/ and even large PP's to disguise them. Remember you are in a 3bet pot IN position. They can make a lot more mistakes than you can.
    Last edited by CBAT; 01-12-2011 at 10:32 PM.
  39. #39
    ^with that in mind don't get too crazy 3b'ing from the blinds
  40. #40
    CBAT, with regards to who can make more mistakes it's still a huge question and I'm only semi-joking here.. most of the time if I call I flop nothing, now I'm in position but I don't have anything. it's ok if it were a small suited connector that I can throw away with no regrets if need be, but if it was suited broadway or say midpair it's very tempting to continue whether he bets or checks but I still have no idea on how to proceed as at this point the pot gets pretty big and position is all I got. in my experience if I check the flop almost for sure I'm bet into on the turn. ideas?
  41. #41
    I guess another questions along the same lines is how do you assign a range to someone who 3bets to protect. my feel is that it's not nearly as narrow of a range as a regular 3bet but just how much wider it is? I have a feeling it can be pretty wide which kinda makes any range assignment useless?
  42. #42
    great bump for all those nits..
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  43. #43
    dranger7070's Avatar
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    Bump. Getting back to the basics.
  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by ymbkm View Post
    this is an awesome thread! I've been pondering blind stealing lately and my question would be what do you do if you get 3bet? if you steal a lot how do you estimate if he actually has a good hand or is just trying to protect? which hands do you call with and which do you fold? this is a major question for me right now and I have no idea how to think about it so any ideas are appreciated thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow View Post
    Think about what you're saying -- if he's only folding 10%, that means he's playing 90% of hands. This is obviously easy to rape in position, even if we're opening 40-50% of hands, just because we'll have a stronger range and position.
    I think spoonitnow answers this point in post #25. If you're getting 3bet a lot by the blinds, then they will mostly be behind your range and also out of position, so you should profit.

    Remember, you are not stealing with any two cards, you should still have good flopability (is that a word? If not, I'd like to trademark it ).

    If all else fails, move tables until you are comfortable with the players in the blinds.
  45. #45
    (sorry flopability is a well used term, google poker flopability)


    Good Bump, it was a very good original article.

    I was hoping it was going to become a series
    quote: 'but I'm going to share some thoughts on this when I talk about blind defense'.

    In particular; make the blind steal, or opening raise from any position is the easy part.
    What happens when it gets called?
    C-betting can lead to loss of that EV quite rapidly.
    But frequent C/F will go straight on the HUD stats.

    The trouble is post flop every scenario will be different so I guess simple guidelines can't be written, and really just more experience, ability, and tactics are needed.

    Thanks spoonit for this insightful piece, and if you can rise to writing the follow on article that would be amazing.
    Last edited by chemist; 09-16-2012 at 08:30 PM.
  46. #46
    dranger7070's Avatar
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    Check the digest bro.
  47. #47
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    Nice post. Totally agree. Keep going
  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by dranger7070 View Post
    Check the digest bro.
    could you kindly elucidate?
  49. #49
    rpm's Avatar
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    i think a lot of the digest threads from FR NL are now in the BC. go here man: http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...pm-123008.html
  50. #50
    Nice post. I think that I can really improve my game if I begin to play a lot of these spots differently.
  51. #51
    Tom1559's Avatar
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    Very good read. Thanks for posting. Some very good information. This is part of my game which has always been a weakness and I know I need to work.
  52. #52
    jaxpaboo's Avatar
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    I good tool I use in blinds against the habitual late position blind stealer. If I call preflop, I will always check raise on any paired or straight possible board.
  53. #53
    Great post, I think most players could do with improving their game around the blinds but then again this is what most people suffer from anyway......the fact that when the time comes they have to play poker This is perhaps one of my biggest weaknesses......is it not connected though to the fact that there are many more people playing poker that are essentially leaning towards being risk adverse.......know this sounds weird but I think the tendency to want to nut peddle without risk is what fundamentally causes overly tight ranges IMO.
    Poker columnist at http://www.poker.co.uk
  54. #54
    Thank you for the post spoon! There is a lot of good info here! I feel like I am a relatively tight player, and I have to try to learn to get aggressive and start stealing blinds every once in a while.
  55. #55

    Default enjoyed the op vm

    still trying to absorb all of this but a very good and inciteful op
  56. #56

    Default thx

    thx!!! nice post
  57. #57
    I realized that I've read this post a bit too soon in the Beginner's Circle but at the same time I'm glad I did so early and it will make more sense when I get to it again. Thank you OP.
  58. #58
    really good post. But good regs are likely to have tracking program or just notice your pattern, they then find a way to play back at you by 4-betting you or calling to see flops.
    And you want to have good cards with great implied odds to play post flop, not just any two cards :\
  59. #59
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducbim View Post
    really good post. But good regs are likely to have tracking program or just notice your pattern, they then find a way to play back at you by 4-betting you or calling to see flops.
    And you want to have good cards with great implied odds to play post flop, not just any two cards :\
    I just now saw this, but none of this negates the value of learning to appropriately steal blinds.
  60. #60
    Very good point with some stats. However I don't think it is a good idea trying to steal with any two cards. Cash game is a deep stack game.
    Imagine what happen when you steal with J2, your opponent calls for defending with AJ on blinds and flop comes JJx, how can you get away with your trash hands?
  61. #61
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    ducbim, I think you would really like my free NLHE Foundations Course.
  62. #62
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    I am going to introduce this to a small local game tonight, I will be sure to let you know how it goes for me
  63. #63
    How are you adjusting to loose players behind you or in the blinds?
  64. #64
    Great article, I have been experimenting with this for the last month or so both with live and online games. From the hands I have played so far and thanks to VPIP apps it has made it easier to steal blinds online. However live its great to break the ice in a game with this exploit. Tournaments, you have to be able to do this if you plan to run deep IMO.

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