View Full Version : Stealing Blinds?

03-06-2004, 01:46 PM
I was analyzing this and thought it would be an interesting question for the groupÖ

Under what conditions do you steal blinds? Assume full table.
What cards do you steal with? Certain combinations? Any two cards? Cards above a given level?
Do you steal when there is a previous bet or limp?
From what positions will you steal? EP? MP? CO-1? CO? Button? SB?
How much does your read on the people behind you affect your willingness to steal?
How often do you steal?
More at a particular time in a tournament? Early? Late? Before $?
How much do you bet on a steal? 2BB? Bigger? Push?

Here are my answers. They are generalities and will vary with conditions.
Any two cards that have a draw potential: A(any), K(any)pref suited, Q8s or bigger (but not Q8o), any suited connectors (but usually not gapped connectors).
Never with a previous limp or bet.
CO-1, CO, B, SB
Never if there is a calling station, or a pusher behind me.
One opportunity in two or three, but not usually on successive orbits.
No difference during tourny except a little more just before a payout increase.
2BB or 3BB, but no bigger.

Now, having given away one of my strategies, you can jump all over me in the SNG games. For that reason, I expect some will choose not to answer this. But itís an open discussion if anyone wants to post. I will guess that the answers to this vary a lot.

Doc /images/graemlins/wink.gif

David BB
03-06-2004, 02:11 PM
I don't really start stealing till it gets down to 5 people or less, and blinds 50/100. At that point I'll raise any hand that I want to play and be happy if I end up just taking the blinds. When it gets down to 3 players I'll raise almost any hand on the button unless one of the blinds are very short stacked in which case I'll tighten up a bit.

03-06-2004, 02:44 PM
id like to hear peoples answers to this in multi. i havent read any nl holdem tourney books, but im getting cloutiers book, and sklanksys book this week. hopefully.

03-06-2004, 02:54 PM
during the early rounds of a s&g i watch who will fold their blinds to the small raises. theres alot of people who will call the 3xBB bet with any 2, or any 2 suited from the BB. then when it gets later i target the people who arent defending their blinds.

if im in the SB, and it folds to me i usually try the 3xBB once. if i get called, my steal attempt in that situation moves to ALLIN or fold. sklanksy wrote an article about it for cardplayer, A8o. here (http://www.cardplayer.com/?sec=afeature&art_id=13377) in the general theory forum the results were expanded here (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=genpok&Number=383481&Forum =genpok&Words=david%20sklansky&Match=Username&Sear chpage=0&Limit=100&Old=6months&Main=382772&Search= true)

theres more value in pushing then there is in folding a variety of hands. im yet to be called doing this and lose, but im sure eventually ill run into AA or KK.

03-06-2004, 03:48 PM
Hi Doc,

I like to steal:

(a) When the table is tight. This is mandatory. Trying to steal (or bluff) at a loose table is absurd.

(b) When it's folded to me. Trying to steal against a previous limper/bettor is equally absurd.

(c) With a hand that has some potential if called, but that I can fold without regret if reraised. I don't usually try to steal with weak Aces or weak Kings, or with big cards (e.g.: KJs), because if I'm reraised it's too likely that I have a decent chance at the pot, but not enough to justify calling a reraise. That's a good way to lose a lot of chips. I'd much rather steal with a hand like 87s, or 97o. If I'm called, it's less likely that I'm dominated, so at worst I'm usually a 7:3 underdog. If I'm reraised, it's easy to lay the hand down without wondering what might have been.


David BB
03-06-2004, 04:04 PM
If you're called you can usually win the pot with a bet when its checked to you on the flop. Position here is more important than what cards you are holding in my oppinion. As long as your opponent misses the flop he cant (and shouldn't) call you.

Trying to steal the big blind from the small blind is something I don't usually try without a decent hand. If you're called here you're in pretty bad shape, and I'm not a big fan of putting a lot of money in a pot I'm not the favorite to win. Would rather try to steal the small blind from the big blind after SB completes.

On a similar note, what hands would you defend your blinds with? What hands would you call and what hands would you raise vs. a thief?

03-06-2004, 04:24 PM
Hi Doc, stealing the blinds is the main part of my game actually. For that very reason is why I love to play on stars. At any rate the cards usually don't matter to me. At about the 75/150 level if no has yet called I will usually open for a raise, except in ep. It doesn't really matter what my cards are. I just make my 3-4 bb raise and play it from there. I usually take down the blinds because I play very few hands early and have a super tight image. If there is a calling station well he basically takes away most of your stealing thunder. With a calling station, I just raise with my good hands. I also want to say if the table is tight and its 6 or fewer players I will raise almost everytime if no one has yet called the blind. A hand came up the other day when it was down to 5 or 6 players in a 2 table sit n go. I rasied utg with 84 offsuit and got called by AA on the big blind. 8 4 came on the flop and I busted him /images/graemlins/grin.gif So all in all I just steal, steal, steal, and try to avoid playing against people on the flop if I can.