When the Blinds are Very Loose

So far we have addressed the idea of how to play when the blinds don't call enough. What if the opposite is true?

Let's say you are on the button with no one else in yet, in a game where the big blind calls 100 percent of the time. In that case you shouldn't raise unless your hand is approximately in the top 40 percent because the blind is going to call, and why put in more money if you are going to get called every time. But there is a play that can be made that you normally never see (except by a "tourist,") yet should be done. It is just calling on the button.

When the players in the blinds are very loose or at least highly apt to defend their blinds there are hands that you should just call with. You use this approach when you really don't like your hand that much, and don't want to put any more money in the pot than necessary. (Remember, you are always going to be called.) Yet, your hand is not bad enough to throw away given that you are just against the two blinds.

Three ideal hands to do this with are small pairs such as deuces or treys, small suited connectors, or a hand like:

Notice that most people will raise with these. But if you are in a game where both blinds are calling a very high percentage of the time, you should just call. Otherwise you run into problems.

Suppose you raise with the A«£6Vand get two calls. Unless the flop contains an ace your hand is usually not worth much, and you will flop an ace only about one time in five. Though you will also flop a six about one time in five, it might not win, and ace high will win less often still. Thus you probably don't want to commit too much money to the pot before the flop. Another reason to just call before the flop is that you make it more likely that you will steal the pot if they both check on the flop. You should always bet if they do check in this situation.

Thus it is not worth raising with these types of hands unless you have a reasonable chance of stealing the blinds. If you make the chance of stealing the blinds as much as 30 percent, then you should raise with it every time. But if you don't think you can steal the blinds, the play is probably going to hurt you more than it helps. This is especially true if they play reasonably well on the flop and beyond. This is because they will make some semi-bluff type bets where you can't keep them honest.

For example, suppose you raise with A2, or 33, get two calls and it comes:





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Someone may well bet with hands like KT, QT, T8, or T7, and you will have to fold the best hand. Thus your hand has a lower winning percentage than it appears. So you should often consider just calling on the button.

If, however, you are one off the button you should not usually make this play. Now you fold the (unless you think that there is a reasonable chance that all remaining players will not call enough, in which case you raise). One hand that might be okay to call with is something like 98s. It is probably worth playing cheaply against the two blinds and maybe the button, but isn't worth raising with when there is no chance to steal the pot.

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