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2NL Optimal Blind Steal Bet Sizes

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    UP, Michigan

    Default 2NL Optimal Blind Steal Bet Sizes

    I see different sizes stealing the blinds from CO and Button than SB. I usually bet .07 (standard OR at ACR 2NL) from CO and Button and .06 from SB because I am a blind of 1/2 BB of .01. If I raised more than standard .07 from CO and B, I think it would surely look like a steal IMO. With SB steal, I'm wondering if I should make it .08 rather than .06 so BB would need to call .06 instead of meager .04. That should squeeze V's range and I should take down more pots. But on the other hand I should only be betting enough to get the job done efficiently and not wasting coin over time when V calls. And if I make it a blanket .08 across all 3 steal positions, Regs will quickly pick up on the increase and adjust their ranges, virtually wiping out the effectiveness of my bluffs, wasting the extra money. Although the higher bet size would still work on recs.

    So my questions are: Would you adjust your steal bet-size given the factors I supplied? Would your open-raise bet-size differ from CO, B, and SB? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
  2. #2
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    St Louis, MO
    Short answer is yes. Adjusting your open raise sizes to match different goals is appropriate.

    In late positions, you have fewer to act behind, so you open a wider range. By opening a wider range, you are more likely to have a lower valued hand post-flop. You get to act IP, so you are more able to play a drawing hand (like suited connectors) correctly. Since there are more drawing hands in your opening range, you want to see more streets than just the flop to realize your drawing value. Starting with a smaller pot going to the flop makes that a bit more affordable.

    When in EP, you're opening a tight range, which you can comfortably open for a couple BB more than LP. Your range is tighter, so you're more confident that you'll win, and there are more people to act behind, so you want to thin it down to heads-up with those hands.

    The tendencies of the blinds are important, too. It's highly likely that neither blind will be playing a wide enough range to stop your blind steals. If you can steal the blinds from the BTN with a min-raise, and at least one of the blinds aren't calling you almost every time, then you are already winning money. You can literally fold any hand post flop and you'll still be profitable from the BTN. You're getting 1.5 BB profit for an investment of 2 BB.

    W*1.5 - L*2 = 0
    W*1.5 = L*2
    1.5/2 = L/W
    L/W = 0.75

    This illustrates that either or both of the blinds need to call or raise your BTN min raise 75% of the time in order for your blind steal to lose profitability PRE. That means that if the blinds are not defending at least that often, then you are printing monies by simply betting to steal and ALWAYS FOLDING w/o any bets post flop. Basically, if every hand in your range PRE was a bluff, you'd still be making money off the blinds.

    This is an extreme example, but you can see the mathematical result. Betting less to steal blinds makes your life post-flop much easier.
  3. #3
    OngBonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Whatever you do, don't get into the habit of adjusting your pre flop raising size based on your hand (eg "I have JJ, I need to raise more than usual"), it should be based solely on position and how much is already in the pot... ie, blinds, antes and limps. That means you're not giving away any information other than "playable hand in position x".

    I generally open button x2.5, I'll go to x3 for MP, maybe x3.5 for EP (depends on table), I'll add a big blind for every limp, and if there's antes I'll add another big blind for full table and half for six max or less.

    Sometimes, if circumstances permit (lots of limps seeing flops, multiple callers when we raise, villains unable to get away from top pair and draws), I'll limp lots of hands that I otherwise might have folded (stuff like K7s, JTo etc), or I might l/c instead of r/f (small pairs, Axs and small suited connectors). But if our raises get us heads up more often than not, especially in position, raising rather than limping is better in almost all cases. People tend to limp because they want to see flops. We should only be limping if it's more profitable than raising, and that depends mostly on how bad villains are post flop. If villains are stacking off in limp pots with top pair or draws, limping is something you may wish to consider. Don't be put off by the concept of "limping pre flop is bad, mkay". Limping is bad against good players.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    UP, Michigan
    Good stuff. I don't telegraph my hand by PF bet-sizing. I was just wondering, exactly what you told me, if folks changed their bet-sizing based on positioning.

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