Every poker player understands the game's variables and the different factors to consider if you wish to win the pot. Regardless of you playing online poker or live poker, essentially winning at the table comes down to having the right poker hands and playing from the right positions by making the right poker actions. Understanding poker rules and playing around them separates a champion poker player from someone who plays for leisure. Speaking of the topic in hand, we will now look at why you should be defending big blinds.
Firstly, defending one's blinds refers to the idea of calling a pre-flop raise from the small or big blind position. This strategy applies to both cash games as well as poker tournaments. The reasoning behind this is simple – you have money mandatorily invested into the pot, and you wish to make optimum use out of it and not lose too much. Blinds are necessary as they push play forward. They are held in goodwill to the game and the players, promoting a definite sense of competition. However, this does not mean you go all out. Most players think that being conservative with your blinds somehow demonstrates weakness and a lack of risk-taking. Players feel as though their efforts to cut their losses will be mocked and ridiculed. Even if that were true, you could not seek everyone's approval to do what suits your game. There are times where you can be aggressive at the blinds and call every raise.
However, in other situations, you will have to know when to fold. This also allows you to learn essential concepts such as pot odds and post-flop aggression. You will never see a wise poker player engage in early position raises unless they are entirely in favor of the cards they have been dealt with. Reality is that the big blind and small blind are the two worst positions to play from during any given moment at a poker table. You are forced to bet here even with weak hands, and if not carefully managed, you could take a big hit before the game can even indeed get started. If you have already borne a small blind loss, you could take twice the hit at the big blind because these positions are mandatory, and they always fluctuate. Do not be fooled into thinking that the strength of your actions at the blind positions shows your level of investment. What is crucial for you is what aids your game plan, that is all. With that being said, here are some of the reasons why you should be defending your blinds.
You Already Have Money in the Pot
A significant aspect that most poker players do not consider is that they already have a full blind amount invested in the pot. This is precisely why it will cost you much less money to call. What this means is that you have yourself covered. Your pot odds are better, so you should be able to defend the blinds with a broader range of hands. An important point to understand here is that this scenario also does not give you the license to defend everything and every time. You have one big blind invested in the pot, and that is great. However, this does not mean that you can go ahead and call everything just because you are getting odds in your favor.
Closing the Action
During the past days of poker, this was not as big of a problem. You could potentially call raises pre-flop from any position at the table. You did not have to fear the idea of putting a lot more money in the pot because of a later position re-raise. Gameplay was much more straightforward during those days. If someone re-raised pre-flop back then, it was almost inevitable that they had the most reliable hand. This would let you escape or call if you felt it was worth the risk. However, playing poker is so much more different during current times. Players are conditioned to take pre-flop advantage over weak and passive players.
For instance, if you decide to call when a loose player opens, then a participant following you might choose to three-bet and put you and the opener in an uncomfortable position. This is even more severe if you are in the small blind position. If the button decides to open and you call from the small blind, then the big blind would be at a significant advantage to three-bet through a broader range. The big blind would do this to eliminate the button, which is likely to be stealing and planning to play a bigger pot against you in position. Calling and defending with weaker hands from the big blind position is an excellent move to make. There is no player to act after you who can squeeze you out or take advantage of your weaker range from such a position.
You Can't Openly Dismantle Your Blinds
Blinds are unavoidable, but you should take every measure necessary to defend them, while also not appearing to be an open thief. While your opponents may not talk down on your efforts to defend your blinds, they certainly will not ignore it. In live cash games, you won't find many players who care about your blinds. However, in tournaments, there is much reward to steal blinds. By folding your big blind every time, you are forcing others to think of you as a weak participant, so they will come after you. You will be labeled as an easy target, and you will have to fight back. This does not mean you should keep three-betting since that is the extreme that most players consider. Do not call relentlessly. Simply appear to be that one player who does not like to fold and carry on.
As intricate as these topics might look like from the outside, they are just as fun and simple to learn once you start the game. In the Small Blind vs Big Blind game, do you have what it takes to defend them both? Head over to Spartan Poker, register yourself, and get started with playing real money poker online where you can put all these skills to the test. From basic to pro, Spartan is where you need to be.