When the button moves around the table you will find yourself from time to time two places to the dealers left. That means it is time for you to post the Big Blind. The Big blind is usually equal to one minimum bet. The blinds in Texas Holdem are a mechanism to build the pot. Without them there would be, “Check,Check,Check,Check,Check,” heard from around the table on every hand. Why pay anything to see the flop if you don’t have to?
What is a Big Blind?
Playing from the Big Blind can be trying. Although you already a minimum bet in the hand you should be cautious calling a pre flop raise. If the blind is $5.00 you should not think of it as costing you five dollars and start thinking, “In for a penny. In for a pound. Rather think of the money that you are forced to post into the blinds as an average fee that you are paying for playing all the hands dealt to you. So instead of thinking of it as posting $5.00 for one hand. Divide it by ten (Or the Number of Players) and think of it as fifty cents. You are a lot less likely to call a raise with a poor hand if you are only defending fifty cents.
Since in the Big Blind you are the first to bet. You will be the last to call a raise, if any. That gives you time to watch the table and see who is calling and raising. Take a long hard look at the pot. How much money is in it? Would you call the raise if you were sitting on the button? Be careful not to over estimate the strength of your hand. First, if it does not add up to 30 or 21, Second, if it is not a small pair, and third if it is not at least suited use your judgment and incorporate what you know about the players at the table. Is the guy who raised, the type who raises the blind every time or almost every time? or is he a tight player who bets only premium hands?
How to Bluff
There are times to bluff and times not to bluff. Some people cannot tell the difference. You most certainly want to get caught bluffing a time or two a night just to make sure that you do not get pegged as a tight player. You must pick your time to bluff very carefully.
A very good bluff that does not even look like a bluff is raising before the flop with Big Slick Ace/King. Before you do this you must be mindful of your position on the table. Cool, if you are the dealer or acting just before the dealer but of less use as you travel back toward the blinds.
Before you decide that you are going to bluff. Look at the reward if you pull it off. The first consideration is how much money is in the pot. There is no point in risking a bluff if the payoff is low. Some people call this pot odds, and have a whole lot of complicated calculations to make before they decide. I just look at it. There is either a large stack of chips or a small stack. If there is a large stack of chips I will attempt a bluff. Bluffing is simply selling an idea. The idea is that you have the best hand. It helps a lot that your opponent can see right on the table that there is a possible straight or flush. Is there a pair? You might have three of a kind or a full house.
I often decide to try and run a bluff even before the pocket cards are delt. Of course, almost as often I decide against it just as soon as the betting starts. Do not try and run a bluff if there are indications that more than one person is holding a good hand. A bluff works best if it is run against mediocre hands. Even the one person holding a good hand can cost you lots of money, make him think you are a moron, and mark you as a loose player.
Don’t show your hand to any spectators in an attempt to bluff. Everybody knows that if you show your hand after the cards are on the table then you are probably bluffing.