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Blind Stealing Poker Strategy

Blind stealing is a nifty trick in texas holdem that becomes more common the higher up the stakes you go. The definition of blind stealing is that you are in Late position (Cut off or the button), and raise the pot pre-flop on a un-raised board in the hope of folding the SB and BB.

The aim of blind stealing is for players to fold, winning you valuable chips and antes on the spot. If done properly, blind stealing has the potential to net you 30% more profits in cash games. Blind stealing in MTTs and SNGs tends to be a lot more common than cash games given the rising blinds and size of pots in the later stages.

The concept of blind stealing is a form of poker bluffing. You don’t actually have the cards but you’re hoping no one will catch you. In terms of hand range, you can blind steal with almost anything if the chances of getting caught are slim. The most common hands to blind steal with are mid-suited connectors, broadway cards (QJ, KQ) and ace suited but you can also do it with junkie hands.

Blind stealing epitomises the importance of table position. It is only profitable from LP and occasionally MP because you’ve seen everyone else check and know that no one has a strong hand to call you down. If a player is strong enough to call you with JQs or AQ then they should’ve opened the raising anyway. It’s most effective against early position players they’ll be behind in every in other street in having to act first on the flop, turn and river. Your relative position on them makes it too dangerous to call light.

When to Blind Steal?

Loose-aggressive players in LP will raise un-raised boards 80% or more of the time. With only the BB and SB left in the hand, the probability of either player with a premium holding (AK, 1010+) is about 10%. There’s about a 30% chance that most players will call you in these situations. You should try to blind steal as often as possible in my opinion. Poker is a game that rewards aggressions above everything else.

Tight passive players are the most profitable to blind steal against. They don’t defend their blinds and only call 4BB raises with a narrow selection of hands. TAGs (tight-aggressive players) raise all of their premium hands pre-flop, which means the chances of them calling a raise after checking the board are tiny; they’re most prone to sharks, 3bet steals and blind steals pre-flop.

What if my Blind Steal Fails?

Remember that if you raise the board 4BBs, your preferred result is an immediate fold. If you get called, continuation bet the flop 50% – 100% of the pot. If you get called to the turn then I’d release the hand.

In conclusion, you need to bear in mind that as your quality of opponent increases and you move up the stakes, blind-stealing loses its credit. You need to start balancing out your LP bluffing range to include legitimate hands to prevent your range being isolated and becoming too obvious. if you don’t, you’ll quickly find you get re-raised and 3bet by better players.