stealing the blinds

Texas Holdem Betting Strategies ยป Stealing the Blinds

Bet Type Objective Bet Range
Stealing the Blinds Take down uncontested pots and blinds Three times the big blind

Let's look into how to steal blinds. No, we're not talking taking the neighbor's curtains by stealth. We're talking about stealing the blinds. No, not robbing 'em blind...although that's what many in Texas Hold 'em Poker would love to call this simple yet wickedly deceptive strategy!

So, what's stealing the blinds?

Well, consider the following scenario:

You find yourself on the button with JSpade 9Spade, so you raise, and you observe with a coldly cast eye as everyone around the table folds.

Wooo hooo! You are a master of stealing the blinds! Hot damn, but aren't you a deceptive devil? Why don't you just whip out yer golden fiddle?

Yeah, that's right! I TOLD YOU it's wickedly deceptive!

But, before you attempt to steal the blinds, you will need to consider the following. 'Cause we got some characters down in, even if you're playing in Minnesota.

What Kind of Players Are at The Table?

Before you try stealing the blinds you have to be aware of the types of players at the table. For example;

  • The Fish -- The Fish is not the kind of player that you want to try stealing the blinds from with a marginal hand. The Fish will play any range of hands and you'll never know if he hit or not. It is best to wait to take the Fish down with premium hands.
  • The Pro -- Now, don't be fooled: This guy's a good blind stealing prospect for ya. Imagine this: the Pro is in the Big Blind and he roughly plays 20% of the hands from the Big Blind. If you raise, chances are the Pro will call your raise 20% of the time, which means the Pro will fold 80% of the time. This is a great tactic to use on him. BUT--don't overuse it, simply because the Pro will see what you're doing and will start to protect the blind position.
  • The Rock -- No, no, no, not THAT Rock. The Rock is really the best player from whom to steal the blinds, and if you think about it the reason is obvious. The Rock only plays premium hands, the dum-dum; he's likely to fold without any resistance. So if you're sitting next to the Rock who is on your left, raise with any two cards. And give him a lollie.

How's Your Table Image?

Before you attempt to steal the blinds, you gotta look in your mental mirror and ask: what's my table image? The tighter your image, the easier it is for you to steal the blinds.

People will respect your raises, for they "know" you only play good starting hands. No one will suspect you are raising with rubbish, you dastardly devil.

If you do not attempt to steal blinds, you are leaving "free money" on the table that could be yours. See, you gotta think like an insurance salesman: NEVER leave money on the table!

BUT -- don't try stealing the blinds if you are under the gun (sorry for the mixed metaphors, my friends). If you come in late, steal the blinds (I can't help myself)! IE, the later your position at the table, the better this works.


If everyone limps in and the action is on you, then make your move. The trick is watching other players at the table and getting to know their patterns, habits, and tells. NOTE: never try to steal the blinds if someone bets 3 to 4 times the big blind. They're not weak.


Any attempt to steal the blinds should look like your normal raise.

Imagine: you're on the button and everyone around you limps in. How much should you raise? Usually a bet three times the big blind should be enough to take down the pot.

Caution though: it doesn't mean getting into a predictable betting pattern where your opponents start to pick it up.

The key to stealing the blinds is to avoid going to the flop, however if you're called make doubly sure it doesn't go to the showdown.

Let's review some key points for a perfect stealing of the blinds, ye burglar:

  1. You are in late position.
  2. Every player in the hand has limped into the flop.
  3. The table has checked around to you.
  4. Your opponents are either the Pro or the Rock. No go Fish.
  5. There are only a few players in the pot.

However, if faced with the opposite situation, you should rarely steal in the following circumstances:

  1. You are in early position.
  2. There has been a raise and a re-raise pre-flop.
  3. You expect a raise if you bet out.
  4. Your opponents are loose.
  5. There are too many players in the pot.

Stealing the blinds over a period of time will win you more money than you will lose. If you haven't added this betting strategy to your portfolio, be like Nike and just do it.

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