Stealing the blinds

As you reach the last position before the button and the button itself, if you're the first person in, and you're going to play, raise. This may win the blinds for you; it may get you the button. At the very least, it will put your opponents on the defensive, and that's always desirable.

Again, do not take this as liberty to open-raise with anything on the button. Throw away J6o without a second thought unless the blinds don't defend enough, in which case you should open-raise with any two cards. But that's usually not the case in low limit games. Normally, they'll defend too much, so you should throw away your weaker hands and punish their looseness by raising with your better ones.

Also note: a hand in which a late position player open-raises and just the big blind defends is a very different beast from a typical multi-way pot. Any pair or draw is a pretty good hand, and top pair is a monster. This sort of hand-to-hand combat is not for most poker novices. It's more art than science, and until you're ready to learn that aspect of the game you might be better off folding all but your very big hands if you're the first person in on the button.

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