small blind in poker

Being the small blind in poker is tricky. Right next to the dealer, it can be tough to navigate your moves.

As the first the act after the flop, you don’t have a whole lot of information to go on. However, with the right strategy and a few well-honed skills, you can turn this sometimes sucky position into a powerful advantage.

We’re going to give you the valuable tips you need to help you dominate the next time you’re playing small blind in poker.

Be selective

Let’s face it. The small blind in poker often finds themselves in unfavorable situations. That means it’s crucial that you’re selective with the hands you choose to play. Focus on playing premium hands. We’re talking pocket pairs, strong aces and suited connectors. These hands give you the potential to win big pots and give you the edge you need when facing off against opponents in later positions.

Defend your corner

We get that it’s tempting to fold when you’re in the small blind in poker. But there are certain circumstances when you really should defend your blind. You’ve already invested some chips, so make your opponents try a bit harder to get their hands on them. If you have a decent hand or the pot odds are in your favor, consider calling, raising or even 3-betting to put pressure on your fellow players.

Be aware of positions around the table

Get savvy about table positions and it can play dividends. Pay close attention to those late position players. Their actions can give you vital information about their hand strength. Adjust your strategy accordingly and think about making well-timed bluffs and stealing the pot, if the opportunity arises.

Mix it up

Just like you’re keeping an eye on other players, more than likely they’re keeping an eye on your too. So keep them guessing. Mix up your playing style in the small blind. Don’t become predictable, relying on the same play book again and again, whether that’s raising or folding. If you throw in calls, raises and bluffs occasionally, it’ll make it that bit harder to predict what kind of hand you’re holding.

Watch your stack

Stack size is always important, whatever position you’re in at the poker table. But when you’re the small blind, you’ve already got some skin in the game so it makes it that much more important to consider. If your stack is dwindling, be a little more aggressive to avoid being blinded out. Conversely, if you have a large stack, you can be a little more patient. Wait for those premium hands before getting into the fray.

Nice and squeezy

Is the button or cutoff raising? Then your small blind position gives you the opportunity to indulge in a little squeeze play. If you have a fairly reasonable hand and you reckon the raiser is simply out to steal blinds, why not try a re-raise? That puts pressure on your opponent and the big blind. Plus it can mean you scoop the pot pre-flop or else face weak calls post-flop.

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