Playing Blind vs. Blind

Jack Wilcox (Hoodlincs) Profile Photo

By Jack Wilcox

25 Oct, 2011

When it gets to blind vs blind there are only two people left in the pot, so it's a similar situation to playing heads up.

In the small blind we have invested 0.5bb, and the big blind has invested 1bb, so we need to fight for the pot.

If you fold all your hands in heads up, you will lose, and the same applies here. The EV of folding is not zero.

Strategy from the small blind.

A 3x raise risks 2.5bb to win 1.5bb. So 2.5/4 = 62.5% fold equity. Our opponent needs to play 37.5% of hands to stop us from raising with any two cards.

Even then, a continuation bet of 4bb into 6bb needs to work 40% of the time, and most players will fold to continuation bets more than 40%.

So we should recognize our opponents based on their stats. Their fold to steal from big blind will be the lowest against the small blind (fold to steal includes how often they fold vs the cutoff and the button), but we can combine fold to steal and their VPIP to get a better idea.

  • A 18/15 isn't going to be playing back at you enough for you not to open almost any two.
  • A 22/20 will be defending a lot and adjusting, so it's best to open about 25% or less.
  • A 45/10 fish will be playing lots of hands, but badly. Look at their fold to cbet. We can do things like just call with weaker hands.

You can get these stats by using Poker Tracker

3betting and 4betting.

We should expect to get 3bet a lot by observant players. Those 22/20 with 9% 3bet types. Therefore, we have to 4bet for value with weaker hands like TT+ and AQ+.

We can also 4bet bluff a decent amount too, and adjust our frequency between bluffs and value hands based on what we think of our opponent: Are they jamming it in light, or are they 3betting bad hands then folding to the 4bet?

We don't want to flat 3bets out of position. It's difficult to play postflop, so we are going to be playing 4bet or fold.

A lot of the 22/20 types will float flops and try to take it away on the turn. For example, on a flop like this:

10h 5h 2s

They will just float KQ, and bet the turn when we check.

Therefore, a great line is to check-raise the turn. Both for value (they probably won't fold any Tx hand), and as a bluff (they have so much air). It's better to start off for value, and then add in some bluffs if we think they fold too much.

But why not check-call for value, and let them keep bluffing? Because most people realize that you are showdown bound when you check-call the turn, and you're looking to call the river too.

Strategy from the big blind.

  • We have to play a lot of hands to stop them from opening wide.
  • If they are opening 25% of hands, their range will not hit many flops.
  • We will have position for the entire hand.

Unless the player in the small blind is a nit, we should be playing a lot of hands. A minimum of 50%.

We should also be 3betting a lot. A minimum of 12%.

  • If they call a lot, thats fine. They will be out of position and we can continuation bet often.
  • If they 4bet a lot, they will be bluffing too often and we can just jam. TT+ and AQ+ is my standard.

Postflop strategy is mainly going to revolve around floating dry flops, and bluff-raising some boards too.

Axx is a great flop to float:

As 7c 2h

We will have every Ax hand in our range, which protects us from multiple barrels (as we will be able to keep calling).

Low flops are better to bluff-raise, such as:

7s 3c 2h

This is because our opponent has lots of good double barrel cards (e.g. any T-A is good), and they just miss so often that it's difficult for them to fight back.


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