Bad Cards in the Small Blind
If the plan is to maintain the same amount of chips when you’re not playing, this blind strategy is the way to protect your stack. 18 bucks an hour is not that much. If you never play your blinds and sit there for 3 hours, you’ve lost about fifty bucks just in the blinds. Of course, when you’ve won, someone else’s blinds are now sitting in front of you.
It’s easy to toss 7-2 away and Q-3 and J-4 and other hands like this. But what if something like Q-10 comes across in a five-way pot or 7-8 suited with one guy raising? Muck muck muck. This point is the money maker or money saver I should say. Table tax is 18/hour. If there has been no raise, which is fairly common, and it’s just two for you to call and you call with anything because of that half bet, then you’ve upped the seat charge from 18 to 24/hour. If you play 10 hours a week that’s 240 bucks for your chair, not to mention tips and rakes. And unless you flop quads there is not a shitty holding that isn’t vulnerable to getting run down by a bigger full house. If you hit quads, which is a super long shot and not worth calling every small blind to try and hit it 1 in 10,000 tries, then it’s hard to get paid because the only non-raising holdings that can be out there are small pocket pairs or player who hung around with overcards, and they won’t be raising and they sure won’t be betting on the flop, so even quads will not scoop a very big pot.
Now if there is no raise and plenty of people in and I have cards that play well in big pots and will be getting correct odds the whole way like small suited connectors or one-gappers or small pocket pairs, then you can call as the enormous odds are there and correct for calling with the cards you have. I did this a few months ago with 2-2 and flopped quads. I checked, hoping to get some action since twos are about the best quad hand out there. It was capped before I got back around to me. I never made a bet that whole hand. Long shot though. It’ll never happen again.
Here’s the real key to small blind play: know your big blind. Even when you have something playable and you call the big blind and he raises and by the time it’s back around it’s an extra bet or two or the big blind fires it up again and now your stuck, and a gutshot or backdoor flush is out there and you are getting the right money to call. Plus you have gotten suckered into 16 bucks with a weak hand. It can be a dangerous 2 dollar call, especially considering you will be first to act the whole way.
I play with a guy named Randy who is fairly solid and doesn’t scare easily, but he wins about as much as he loses. Several times he has sat to my left and raised with only KK, AA or AK out of the blind. This is almost good strategy, but not quite. I can’t say that everyone knows what he’s raising with but I sure do and as long as I’m certain of what he’s holding it makes it that much easier to figure out if my call from the small blind would be profitable to call his raise. The chances of getting AA, KK, AK are pretty slim. Catching them specifically in the big blind is pretty far. But if I’m there for 3 hours, the small blind will occur ten times.
Personally, I can usually sense what is going to happen with a guy like Randy and if I’m not in the mood to mess with a big hand, then I don’t. But if I’m up quite a bit and in the mood to gamble with my proceeds, I’ll give it a go.
Other times when I’m to the right of my friend Duke, I have no idea what he’ll do with his big blind. He comes there to play and he likes to raise. I have to play tighter from the small blind, and as a result of this I usually get better cards just for the punishment of it. It makes it tougher on me, but if I couldn’t handle the pressure I wouldn’t be playing this much.