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Blind Stealing

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Blind stealing refers to the situation in which a poker player in late position decides to raise pre-flop in order to win the uncontested blinds. This has proved to be an effective strategy since those poker players in the blinds will usually have two random cards. Because of this, there is very little chance they have a hand that will prompt them to raise, wchih will allow you to win their blinds.

Besides, you should take into account that the poker players in the blinds will be the first to take action against you in case they call, which means that they will probably know that they need a good hand if they want to pay to see the flop.

When it comes to poker strategy for blind stealing, there are two possible positions during a poker game.

  1. You will try to steal other players' blinds.
  2. Other poker players will try to steal your blinds.

The way in which you should play in these situations will depend on whether you play in a tournament or in a cash game.

Blind Stealing Strategy

How to play in tournaments

It is a fact that blind stealing works better in tournaments. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in need of chips and you won’t be able to wait for a premium hand and blind stealing will give you the opportunity to accumulate chips.

Take into account that at the beginning of poker Texas Hold’em tournaments blinds are quite low compared to your stack size and blind stealing does not offer so many benefits at this point. At this point your opponents will most likely call raises because blinds are very small.

Cash games

In general, blinds tend to be small compared to your stack during cash games. As a consequence, blind stealing is not profitable when you look at it from a money making point of view. You should stick to playing good hands and avoid weak hands.

You should use the blind stealing strategy in cash games if you feel you can beat your opponents easily in case they call in later betting rounds and win the extra money they contribute to the pot. Being the last to play on each round gives you an extra advantage and more chances of winning. However, you should not use this strategy every time or the other players will notice the way in which you play.

Stealing blinds frequently in cash games is not a recommended way of making more money.

How to play when players try to steal your blinds

In general, you should not try to protect your blinds all the time and on every round. Take into account that you’ll be the first to take action if anyone tries to steal your blind due to your poor table position. In case you call and don’t hit the flop, you face the question of what to do next.

  • If you decide to check, should you re-raise their continuation bet and try to steal the pot again?
  • Should you bluff at the pot if you are the first player to act?

No matter what you decide, the truth is that you will not know what your opponent has and you’ll be risking your money in an attempt to take down a “nothing pot”. It will not be profitable for you trying to protect your blinds if you have no information about your opponent’s hand. Fighting back when a player is trying to steal your blinds is not easy, it’s better to let them go and avoid getting into a deeper hole.

Take into account that the money is no longer yours after you post your blind. Now the money is part of the pot. Many players believe the money is still theirs and try to defend it by raising during the blinds, but they shouldn’t.

Sometimes you can stop the other players from stealing your blinds during future rounds. If you make a decent re-raise when your opponent is betting in late position trying to steal, they will make think twice before trying to steal your blinds in the future.

You’ll show that you have the capability to re-raise anyone who attempts to steal your blind from a late position and this will work even if your opponent calls your re-raise. This works better when the blinds are small compared to your stack, because you will not risk so much of your stack.

Stealing blinds evaluation

The blind stealing strategy depends on the size of the blinds compared to the size of the stack. When blinds are small, the strategy is not so effective because you’ll risk most of your stack for a small pot in poker hold’em. If you are faced with a potential blind steal, the worst thing you can do is call.

You’ll put more money into the pot and your opponent will have a good chance of stealing it. If you are not sure what to do, follow a simple rule: play to the strength of your hand, this means that you should fold when you have a weak hand and re-rise when you have a strong hand.

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