Big Blind Bet In Texas Hold Em Poker
n Texas Hold'em, the big blind bet, otherwise known as the BB, is a full-sized bet that gets placed to start the first round of play. It's not pondered over, and neither is the other blind bet, the small blind. These bets are pre-determined in size, and as the button moves around the table and comes to various different people, different people (who are to the left of the button, which indicates the dealer) post the big blind bet (as well as the small blind bet).
So, this is a "blind" bet because the player making it has not even seen how others are going to bet yet, and he has no choice in the matter. Therefore, there are strategies that you should learn to employ from the BB position in order to make as much money, and lose as little money, in this tricky position as you can.
DECISIONS ON HOW TO PLAY FROM THE BIG BLIND BET POSITION
Your first decision will be whether or not you should call a raise/do re-raising from the BB position. This can be a more difficult decision that it may seem at first. Some players in the BB position instinctively want to "protect" their bet--that is, since they were forced to put in money (without even the option of folding before that bet is placed), they will try to stay in and play just about any hand--even the absolute worst hand in Hold'em, which is 2-7 unsuited.
If you, or any player, plays and calls/raises with a poor hand or lackluster hand, this is known as trying to "steal the blinds".
If you are playing "tight" poker, as you should be, you will normally only play 15% to 25% of your hands to see the flop, and you'll fold the rest. You cannot expect to be a winner on a consistent basis by constantly bluffing with garbage or being aggressive with mediocrity. But, in the BB position, it can be advisable to loosen up your game a bit. You can take a few more chances on stealing the blinds than you normally would. It's worth your while to do this because you definitely have a stake in the game. You've automatically lost some money if you don't win the hand from this position.
You will still fold the great majority of the time, but there are a few tight playing rules that you can bend from the BB. For instance, if you are folding any hand with either card being less than an 8, from the BB position you could attempt to play a hand like A-6 or K-6 suited. You'll want to play such hands aggressively.
Many successful players prefer to always call the last raise from BB even if they have one of the strongest starting hands like pocket Kings or pocket Aces, in order to first get a feel for how others react. Do they call to stay in? Do they fold? Do they re-raise?
Use the rule of thumb that the lower the rank of your higher starting card, the tighter your play becomes. Don't go too far in protecting your blind; if your higher starting card is a 6 or lower, you should probably fold. You could try stealing blinds with 6-6, but any pocket pair below that you should fold.
The higher in rank your higher starting card is, whether or not your cards are suited, and whether or not you start the game with a pocket pair (especially a high one--Tens or better) must all determine not only whether or not you stay in but also how aggressively you re-raise. For instance, from the big blind position, having AA or KK is a no-brainer re-raise. With pocket Jacks, you will probably just call.
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