What to do When Youre The Blind

Probably more money is lost trying to defend the Blind than anywhere else. You see players calling in the Blind and drawing four cards against a 2nd position raise. You see players who never lay down hands in the Blind against a single raise. It takes two raises to get them out, and then they sometimes call if they have reasonable two-card draws or a rough one-card try.

Forget it! There's no quicker way to go busted.

Here is a chart that tells you when to call and on what you should call with in the Blind. . .

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO CALL A RAISE WHEN YOU'RE THE BUND (against one player')

Minimum 1-

Minimum 1-

Minimum 2-

Minimum 2-

card draw

card draw

card draw

card draw

Raiser's

without

with the

without

with the

Position

the Joker

Joker

the Joker

Joker

2

8-5-4-3

9-7-5-Joker

4-3-2

7-4-Joker

3

8-6-4-3

9-7-6-Joker

5-4-3

7-5-Joker

4

8-6-5-4

9-8-3-Joker

6-4-3

7-6-Joker

5

8-7-5-4

9-8-4-Joker

6-5-4

8-3-Joker

6

8-7-6-5

9-8-5-Joker

7-4-3

8-4-Joker

7

9-7-6-5

9-8-6-Joker

7-5-4

8-5-Joker

8

9-8-6-5

10-8-7-Joker

7-6-5

8-6-Joker

If it's raised in an early position, it is not correct to call with a one-card draw to any rough Eight. Sure, against some players you can call profitably with a one card try with an

8-7-6-5, but against certain Hard Rocks, you might have to be drawing at a perfect Eight or better.

Notice that the span of one-card draws to Nines (under the minimum one-card draw with the Joker column) doesn't seem to change much whether the raiser is in position Two or position Seven. But, in fact, there's a great difference in the frequency with which you'll be dealt a one-card draw to

9-7-5-Joker (or better) and the times you'll get a one-card try at 9-8-6-Joker (or better).

Now take a look at those two-card draws. You see that the minimum two-card tries without the Joker are a little more rigid than what you'd be drawing to if you threw away the highest card of your minimum one-card draw without the Joker (and drew two). This holds true comparing the one-card Joker tries with the two-card Joker draws.

Naturally, this will bring about some sticky dilemmas. Do you draw one or two when you seem to have about the borderline hand in each category?

Well, that's not much of a dilemma at all. Since this chart pits you against a single opponent, you're usually better off drawing one. When there's more than one opponent, you should give consideration to drawing two, but only because rough hands are less desirable as the number of players increases. So when there are a lot of active players, don't draw at rough hands.

The great disadvantage of being the Blind is that you have to draw first and then act first when it's time to bet. That's why defending the Blind is not as good a practice as most people think.

I'm sure you noticed that there were no Pat hands on the Minimum to Call a Raise When You're the Blind chart. Well, I didn't forget. Here's something you should know:

It is almost never proper to just call with a Pat hand in the Blind.

If you have a borderline Pat playing hand, you should usually raise. Otherwise you'll have to check weakly after the draw. Besides, tricky players will often rap Pat behind you, and you're going to have trouble calling their subsequent bet unless you know they're likely to steal the pot with this sort of maneuver.

You'll look a lot more aggressive and help your table-image considerably if you re-raise with any playable Pat hand as the Blind (especially against one opponent).

And that leads us right on to the next chart. What hands should you re-raise one player with if you're the Blind?

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO RE-RAISE WHEN YOU'RE THE BLIND (against one player)

Minimum

Minimum

Minimum

Minimum

Pat hand

Pat hand

draw

draw

Raiser's

without

with the

without

with the

Position

the Joker

Joker

the Joker

Joker

2

9-8-5-4-3

9-8-6-A-Joker

4-3-2-A

6-4-3-Joker

3

9-8-6-3-2

9-8-6-5-Joker

5-4-3-A

6-5-4-Joker

4

9-8-6-5-4

9-8-7-A-Joker

6-3-2-A

7-3-2-Joker

5

9-8-7-3-2

9-8-7-3-Joker

6-4-3-A

7-4-3-Joker

6

9-8-7-4-3

9-8-7-5-Joker

6-5-4-A

7-5-4-Joker

7

9-8-7-5-4

10-8-7-6-Joker

7-4-3-A

7-6-5-Joker

8

9-8-7-6-3

10-9-7-6-Joker

7-5-4-A

8-4-3-Joker

There are only slight differences between the Pat hands you can re-raise with if an early position raises, and those you can re-raise with if a late position raises. On most of the borderline drawing hands, you have an option of just calling. Naturally, you might just call no matter what the strength of your hand if this strategy figures to make you more profit after the draw. (But remember, your aggressive stature will be enhanced whenever you raise.)

Notice that the one-card draws you can re-raise with are considerably stronger than the ones you can call with.

A really sticky problem is what to do with a Pat Ten in the Blind if 7th or 8th position raises. Your hand is seldom worth a re-raise, but if you simply call and rap Pat you'll look very weak and vulnerable.

The solution seems to be to never re-raise with a rough Pat Ten. If you have a perfectly Straight-Ten, it may not even be playable against normal competition in late positions. Give consideration to discarding the Ten and drawing to the Nine (but not a totally Straight-Nine).

This unusual strategy is an exception to this general rule:

Almost never break a Ten to draw to a Nine, and almost never break a Nine to draw to an Eight.

Against more than one opponent, you need stronger Pat hands.

Let's look at some common game situations. . .

The first raise comes from 2nd position, and you're holding this hand in the Blind. . .

Pass. Even though you have the Joker, this is not a playable one-card draw, and the Pat Ten is a loser.

You hold this hand in the Blind. The raise was in 3rd position and 5th • position re-raised...

Call. This suggests a bit of advanced strategy we haven't yet discussed. Even though your hand seems strong enough to put in another raise, you'll sometimes get maximum value by just calling. If you put in a third raise, it might drive out the original raiser (and you don't want that to happen). What's more, you'll have identified your draw as being really strong. Your best money-winning option is to slow-play this one.

You're in the Blind with this hand. The dealer has raised you. . .

How To Draw 205

Call. You can play any two-card draw to a Seven.

You have this hand in the Blind and 6th position raises you. . .

You may re-raise (but you don't have to). The chart suggests this will sometimes bring the maximum profit. But a word of caution here. Re-raising just one opponent when you're drawing can be bad practice. If he's Pat he often has a big advantage. If he draws one to a good hand, your advantage is small. But. . .Always raise two or more opponents when you're drawing to a quality hand like a smooth Seven with the Joker (or any better draw than that).

You put in the first raise from 3rd position. Everyone has folded except the Blind, and he has re-raised. You called.

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