Playing around the blinds in NLHE

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If you play full ring no limit cash games in online poker then the majority of your playing decisions will come from around 50% of the seats at most. These five seats are the hijack seat, the cut-off seat, the button and the two blinds. You will play the vast majority of your hands from the blinds and the button. This is because you have absolute position on the button and in the blinds then you are already in the pot anyway.

These seats are closely followed by the cut-off and the hijack seats. Because you will play the majority of your hands from these seats then it stands to reason that you’re playing decisions are very important in this critical area of the game in no limit hold’em. In order to be a decent winner in no limit Texas hold’em cash games then you need to learn to think and to play on numerous different levels.

Be aware of the basic ABC play

Let us say that is has been folded to you and you are in the cut-off seat and hold the Jc-9c. You make it 3.5bb to go and the button three bets you to 11bb. Both blinds fold and you decide to fold also as your hand is difficult to play out of position against a re-raiser. However on the very next orbit you see 8c-7c in the same seat and you once again make it 3.5bb to go. History repeats itself and your opponent once again makes it 11bb by re-raising.

Now you have a problem and many players would fold and if you fold here then you are down 7bb on the two plays with your opponent showing a total profit of 10bb with your money and the blind money. But the dynamic shifted on the very first hand of this sequence because your opponent saw you raise from position and then fold to a re-raise. This indicated to them that you were stealing and so this increases the chances that they are re-raising you on a much wider range.

In order to know that your opponent (you in this case) is stealing then you need to be aware of straight forward ABC play and what that means. Once you know how to play ABC solid poker then you will be aware of how other players are playing the same way.

Taking your poker to the next level

The majority of your profits in online no limit Texas hold’em poker will stem from what happens around the blinds and this is especially so in six max online poker. However you do need to be aware of what level your opponents are playing on.

If you raise to steal the blinds and a player three bets you who three betted you on the previous round of play then you can seriously contemplate four betting. If they three bet you from the blinds then you can four bet or float them and then look to play a pot post flop with this opponent. You simply play ABC poker when playing online and you only get out of line when your opponents get out of line.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player who plays online at


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