The answer to that question is complicated. Yes, it is a tricky position to be in. But no, it doesn’t have to be all bad. Especially with a little bit of small blind strategy under your belt.

In the past, we’ve talked a bit about how you can use late positions to your advantage. But early positions? People sometimes think it’s a bit of a grin and bear it situation.

However, there are some simple things you can do to protect your position and make sure you’re not losing chips unnecessarily. Whether you’re playing an in the flesh tournament or are settling in for an online poker session (bet365 bonus code for new players), these things are really important to know.

Once we’re done with you, you can master your small blind strategy and stop considering that position as a total write off every single time.

The problem with the small blind…

If you’re new to poker and wondering what all the fuss is about, we’re here to tell you why people typically give out about being small blind. In both hold’em and omaha, you’re forced to cough up chips (half the big blind), whether you like the look of your cards or not. And, post flop, you’re the first player to act. This means you can’t see what other players are up to before you make your decision to bet, check or fold.

Small blind strategy tips

Steal the pre flop blinds

The one time the small blind has a positional advantage is pre-flop. Everyone after the big blind acts before you. So then you only have one player the psych out to rob the blinds if the rest of your table is in fold city. A decent raise of say 3x the blind if your hand is halfway decent and you can get those few extra chips for yourself. And of course, don’t forget your pot odds!

However, if you’re faced with an aggressive player who loves a little 3-bet, it’s wise to rely on better hands. Meanwhile, if you know your big blind is a tight player, you can raise with almost anything and be relatively confident they’ll fold to you.

Don’t be afraid to fold with your small blind strategy

Sometimes people interpret small blind strategy to mean defend your small blind at all costs. But really, you shouldn’t. Remember you’re at a disadvantage here post-flop and play accordingly, especially if there are several people in the pot.

While we were saying before, it’s fine to go up against just the big blind as a small blind, competing against a whole suite of players in a weak position is a different ball game.

So if there are quite a few players in the mix and your hand isn’t all that strong, fold. Thinking about limping in pre-flop? That’s actually an even worse decision in most instances, because you’re not scaring away enough players to decrease the chance of being caught out later on.

3-betting is the small blind’s friend

3-bets are an aggressive move. But when you’re in the small blind, you need to be scrappy to survive. You need to reduce the number of players in a hand to increase your chances of winning.

And, there’s always the chance your 3-bet will cause all the players to fold pre-flop. Then you get the pot early on in the hand. However, remember that you should really only do this with a strong hand. You’re still in a pretty disadvantaged spot overall.

It’s also possible to bluff from this position, of course. But because of your early position, these need to be really strong bluffs. No hesitating! If you’re scared, it means you’re not ready to bluff as a small blind. Build your confidence and try it again in the next few months.

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