In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands.
Over the past few weeks, we learned how position works, how to take advantage of it, how to play from the blinds, and how to steal the blinds. We will now conclude our position-related strategy tips with advice on how to defend your blinds.
Defending Your Blinds
Last week we went over a very important concept in poker: stealing the blinds. We saw how important this strategy is in poker, and how sitting on the button will be the easiest spot to raise and try to win the blinds without a showdown.
However, you should also be aware of that concept when you are sitting on the blinds yourself. So protecting your own blinds from an aggressive player on the button is equally important.
The best way to defend your blinds is not to call the raise, but to re-raise the person stealing!”
Remember this very important advice: the best way to defend your blinds is not to call the raise, but to re-raise the person stealing! Therefore, when the button holds a trashy hand, he will most likely fold when facing your re-raise, instead of having the chance to see a cheap flop and connect with it.
The beauty of the game emerges when both players are aware of these notions, which can lead to amazing plays in poker:
The button raises in order to steal, the big blind re-raises in order to defend its blind, the button knows that this is a move and therefore 3-bets in an attempt to show that he does have a legitimate hand, the big blind knows that the button knows and consequently decides to 4-bet all-in to say that he really, really does have the goods, and the button decides to call with a King high, thinking that this is only a statement from the Big Blind.
I most cases, two players acting like that won’t last very long at the same table, as they won’t let anybody “walk over them”.
Being aggressive is always a better tactic than being passive in poker, but be aware of the dangers of being too proud versus the opportunities of going deeper into a tournament by showing patience and a lot of discipline. You may end up finding a better spot to teach an aggressive opponent a lesson than moving all-in with air from the blinds.
This tip concludes this part of the series on position. Stay tuned over the upcoming weeks where we will be diving into the art of bluffing.
Also, don’t forget to join me twice a week in the Hubble Bubble tournaments to practice your skills and try to win my 5000 CHP bounty!
– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier