Protecting Blinds in Texas Holdem Tournaments Article

Blinds are mandatory bets that designed to encourage action at the poker table. If there were no blinds, each player at the table could just sit back and wait for the perfect hand. When two players are forced to contribute to the pot before the cards are dealt, two things happen. Everyone's more willing to participate in the pot, and the players who post the blinds will be more willing to compete for their mandatory bets. When you play poker tournaments, you can't surrender your blinds without a fight. Here are some tips on how to protect your blinds during Texas Holdem tournaments.

Identifying Blind Stealers in Texas Holdem Tournaments

If you want to protect your blinds, you need to know how to identify blind stealers. Whenever you make a poker decision, you need to base your judgments on your previous table observations. Thoroughly consider your opponent's playing style before you decide on the proper course of action. If there's a player who constantly raises the pot pre-flop from late position, don't be scared off by this person's bets. In all likelihood, this player is trying to maximize his positional advantage by forcing the blinds to fold. This kind of play is very common on the Texas Holdem poker sites today. If there aren't many participants in a pot, be mindful of steal attempts. Blind stealers will typically act when they have the positional advantage, and when there aren't many players contesting the pot. If you can identify the blind stealers, you can make better decisions when protecting your blinds, such as raising them back on occasion even if you don't hold a premium start hand.

Remember Your Position When You Decide to Defend Your Blinds

If you call a pre-flop raise from a blind stealer, you need to remember your position. By calling the pre-flop raise, you will give off the vibe that you have a quality starting hand. No matter what two cards you're holding, if you call a pre-flop raise from one of the blinds, you will play the remainder of the hand out of position. This is important to keep in mind. You don't want to call a hefty raise pre-flop with the hopes of checking to your opponent after the flop, turn and river. If you're going to participate in a pot, you need to be aggressive. This might be easier when you play Texas Holdem online than live, but it's always important. When you're playing out of position, don't call a pre-flop raise with a hand that you don't want to bet.

Don't Grow Too Attached to Your Blinds

While it's important to protect your blinds and not seem like a pushover, you don't want to go overboard in your defense of these mandatory bets. Hefty pre-flop raises may force you to reconsider your blind protecting strategy (especially hefty pre-flop raises from players in early position). If you've already contributed to the pot, don't feel as if you have to call every pre-flop raise to protect your blinds. There will be times when you're holding trash cards from your blind position. If the pre-flop raise is tiny, go ahead and call it. See if the flop helps you out. If the pre-flop raise is substantial, go ahead and surrender your blinds. Take comfort in the substantial Texas Holdem bonus you'll be cashing in shortly. If you're met with a raise every time you post the big or small blind, then you need to make a few calls in order to avoid being seen as an easy target. Even better is making the occasional re-raise to hold the aggressors back. Protecting your blinds in tournament poker is very important. As the tourney progresses, protecting your blinds will become much more important. In the latter stages of the tourney, when the blinds are quite large, you need to protect more and increase your own attempts at stealing blinds from your opponents. If you can identify blind stealers, remember your positional disadvantage and learn to let go when you're facing a better hand, you'll be able to defend your blinds with great success.

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