Play from the big blind

The big blind is almost as difficult to play as the small blind. With a blind forced basic assignment, it is not possible in this position to have a positive win rate. To keep the loss from this position as small as possible, you should read through today’s article …

In the big-blind, the same problem arises in principle as in the small-blind: you have no position. Although the position here is slightly better than in the small-blind, since you’re the last to preflop. However, the position disadvantage postflop is still so great that you will have long term from this position a negative win rate.

To avoid difficult situations, I recommend you from the big-blind a very tight strategy. However, if your teammates steal your blind too often, then you have to react accordingly.

Big-blind preflop strategy

From the big blind, you can make your hand selection a little looser than from the small blind. Since you’re the last to preflop, you do not have to worry about being pushed out of the hand in the small-blind by an aggressive squeezer.

The squeeze from the big blind

Now you can take on the role of aggressive squeezers and use this turn in good situations. The default scenario is, as you can probably guess, an opening raid on the button and a small-blind call. The button has a very wide range and thus usually not a very good hand. The call of the small-blind is an indicator of a medium-strong hand that has to give up against a 3-bet. In this situation, you can often squeeze a 3-bet, regardless of the strength of your hand, to steal the pot.

Hand selection from the big blind

As in the small blind, you should also re-raise your strong hands (high pairs, AK, AQ, …) from the big blind. It is very difficult to build a big pot postflop without a position. Therefore, you should start this with a preflop 3-bet. To balance your 3-beting range, I recommend hands that will not get you in trouble. Medium suited connectors are particularly good here.

In your Callling range, you can include especially suited Broadways and middle pairs. Small pairs and suited connectors can also be profitable big-blind hands against the right opponents. However, as you will rarely make top pair, they are not easy to play.

Also, when playing from the big blind is: Always observe the range of your opponents and adjust your range accordingly. Against a first-place opening move, a big blind call with AJo is rarely profitable.

Big blind against short stacks

Many professional short stackers have a very wide opening range from the button. Some open up to 60% of their hands here. You should meet them in the big blind with a very wide range and push all-in.

Big-blind in deep-stacked games

To play without position with big stacks (> 200 BB) is very difficult against competent opponents. These will continually try to put pressure on you. Therefore, you should play carefully and tightly in these situations and adjust your hand selection accordingly. Furthermore, it is recommended to reduce the 3-betting range compared to a normal 100BB game. This will keep the pot relatively small. Especially in deep-stacked games: in position big pots, without position small pots.

Big-blind post-flop strategy

If you kept away from problem hands preflop, then you have a relatively easy life postflop. The key to successful oop play is to take the initiative in hand. If you have not already preflop with a 3-bet, then you can do it with a check-raise on the flop or turn. Floats without a position are not advisable against most opponents and are not profitable.

Summary:
With the game from the big blind most players have problems. You should come to terms with the fact that it is usually not possible to have a positive win rate here. If you work on your game and try to play relatively tight and with a proper hand selection, then you should not lose too much here.

Play from the small-blind

The small blind is rightly considered the worst position at the poker table. Not only do you have to deposit money into the pot with your basic bet before you’ve seen your cards. You also play against the rest of the table without position …

Position is the nuts and bolts of no-limit hold’em poker. Most poker pros agree that position and good positional play are probably the most important strategies. In the small-blind compared to all your teammates have the worse position, so the position disadvantage. Without position, you have to act first and your opponents can already see a lot of information on your turn and on your placement behavior. Also, without a position, it’s very difficult for you to control the size of the pot: You win smaller pots and lose bigger pots than positional advantage. These are very good reasons to make your small-blind strategy relatively tight.

From the small-blind you should usually play a very tight strategy.

Small-blind preflop strategy

You should choose your preflop strategy in the small-blind very tight, as you have the worst position at the poker table later in the hand. You could argue with that, for example, after an opening crack from the cut-off and a call from the button good relative position on the flop would have (more on the relative position can be found here), but this is only partially true, since you also still the big one -Blind should take into account. Firstly, the big-blind might feel encouraged by the multiway action to squeeze. Second, the BB in a call would have the better relative position in the hand.

Hand selection from the small blind

With strong hands such as AA, KK, QQ, AK, … (depending on your opponent’s range), you should usually preflop a 3-bet, since it is very difficult without post position to build up the pot. At the same time you will reduce the stack-to-pot ratio and the hand will be easier to play.

So that your 3-bet range does not become too predictable, you should compensate this. In addition I recommend hands like 79s, which are relatively easy to play postflop and with which you can not get in trouble. Hands like K7s are in position very well suited to 3-bets, but without position you are constantly creating situations that can make you sweat a lot.

For preflop calls, hands like small and medium sized pocket pairs are very easy to play. Make sure that there is not an aggressive squeezer in the big blind, against whose 3-bets you have to give up your relatively weak hand.

Although you can extend your range against frequent steals, you should react much more conservatively than in the big blind.

If no one has opened before you, then you should make your style of play depending on the big blind. If it is a very tight opponent, then you can open a very wide range and make it automatically profit. But an attentive big-blind opponent will soon see through your tactics, often taking advantage of his positional advantage. Then it’s time to drastically reduce your opening range.

Small blind against short stacks
Against frequent steals of short stacks, you can usually defend yourself with a wide 3-bet range.

Small-blind in deep-stacked games
If the stacks get bigger (> 150BB), then you should be extra careful from the small blind. The position advantage of your opponents is just too big and the risk too high. With big stacks, playing without position is a nightmare and you should be careful not to get involved in complicated situations.

Small-blind post-flop strategy
If you choose your hands (no problem hands) and your moves very preflop very carefully, then you should also have postflop relatively little difficulty. When playing without a position is often a crucial criterion in the course of the hand to take the initiative – be it with a 3-bet preflop and with the continuation of the aggression on the flop or with a check-raise on the flop.

Summary:
The small-blind is the most unpleasant position in no-limit hold’em poker. Lack of information and poor control over the pot size make playing from this position very difficult. That’s why a very tight strategy is usually the best.

Flat calling ranges in poker

Flat-calling in no-limit Hold’em poker has something special: beginners do it too often – advanced players often do not do enough. How to optimize your Flat Calling Range is explained in this article.

Today’s strategy article is all about flat-calling – the cradling of elevations in position and without position. The big drawback to this move is that, unlike a 3-bet or opening, we do not take the initiative. That’s why we have to choose our flat-calling range very carefully, both in position and without position. The following tips and poker strategies are especially for 100BB online games.

Flat Calling Ranges in position

Position is the key to successful no-limit hold’em poker. That’s why we can design our flat-calling range much further in position than without a position.

Flat calling with pocket pairs in position

In position you should usually call with all pocket pairs a preflop raise, with which you do not want to start a 3-bet. This is of course dependent on the situation, but will mostly correspond to the range of 22-TT – against openings from early positions additionally JJ and against some players even QQ. If you have very aggressive players or short-stackers behind you who regularly squeeze, then you can occasionally just call with KK or AA and let them run into the trap.

If you hold a small pocket par (22-66), then there are often three higher cards on the flop. You should just give up your hand against a continuation bet. Middle pairs are a little better: you can call a continuation bet on many boards and reevaluate the situation on the turn.

Flat calling with suited connectors in position

In order to call a raise with suited connectors profitably, you usually need position. You often hold a hand on the flop that has some equity and you would like to see the turn. Without position and initiative, it is not possible to make a profit with these hands in most game situations.

Flat calling with Broadways in position

Suited Broadways are great for a flat call. Very often you flop enough equity (pairs, backdoor draws, overcards, …) to float profitably or bluff.

Offsuit Broadways are also good, but you should play a bit more conservative. Against a opening from a late position is a call from the button with QJo or AJo certainly profitable, against an increase from early position but not. Strong Broadways such as AQ or KQ can also be included in position in your Flating-Range – with AK you should usually start a 3-bet.

Flat calling with suited aces in position

Most good poker players love suited aces. In many situations you flop enough backdoor equity to float profitably or bluff.

Flat calling without position

Without position (from the blinds) you should make your flat-calling range much more conservative. The position penalty is just too big to flatten profitably many of the above hands.

Good hands for a call against openings from late position are middle pairs and suited broadways – but you should be careful with openings from early positions, and very, very tight flatten.