Small Blind Strategy In No Limit Holdem
I and many other authors will list many different hands that let you enter the pot for half a bet from the small blind. Many of these poker hands can lead you into deep water unless you play them correctly after the flop. Here are two examples, A3o and 67s. Let's discuss what we hope for on the flop.
A3o (An Ace and a Three not suited) is a pretty good poker hand. You could enter the pot for half of a bet. Hpwever, a problem appears when you hit an Ace on the flop without any help. If any of the other players have an Ace, your kicker will not be good. If you decide to bet and lead into the pot, any opponent who calls or raises may very well have you beat. You just don’t have enough information.
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If you check instead, and then somebody bets, you are likely lagging behind and will have to catch up in order to win. When faced with this situation, I release to any aggression from an opponent unless I have a draw to a straight with the correct pot odds, or unless I manage to hit two pairs. I have even laid down two pair on occasion, like if I read a set or there is a possible flush. In some games with strong opponents, I will have been known to fold A3 in the small blind.
If I enter the pot from the small blind with a 67suited, I try to hit a straight, straight draw or two pair. Although there is the chance of a flush, but everyone at the table will see a possible flush. The only way to get much action here is from someone with a higher flush. Still, a straight will be disguised. Most holdem players assume that no one will be in a pot with 67. You can still get into trouble is if you hit a pair on the flop and then chase. A straight draw is a possibility. You can judge whether to stay in the pot based on your pot odds.
The important thing is that you make sure you enter the pot with the mindset that you won’t lose very much with any of these hands, but you may win a big pot. Don’t chase with poker hands that are behind unless you have the proper pot odds. Don’t be afraid to fold a pair of Aces with a bad kicker. Playing poker hands like those is about winning a few very big pots, not a few small ones.