Are you a regular online poker player? If so, this article is aimed towards helping you with the poker strategy of defending your blinds in NL Holdem games.
Generally, Texas Holdem is one of the first games that online poker players start playing, given how immensely popular the variation is. Apart from its popularity, the many formats in which Texas Holdem can be played ensures a well-rounded experience for beginners. From betting strategies to understanding poker hands, from learning to bluff to knowing when to make the right poker moves – Texas Holdem is genuinely the fundamental poker game. The essence of poker can usually be found in NL Holdem games, the one where you can bet as much as you’d like or even go all-in with no hesitation or restrictions.
This allows beginner players to practice the various ways in which you can place bets in poker and also gain the experience of taking timely decisions at the table. Along with all of this, Holdem-hassle comes with the responsibility to deal appropriately with poker blinds. ‘Blinds’, as we know, are forced bets at the table used to encourage players to bet with no fear where the big blind is generally twice as much as the small blind. Rotating in a clockwise direction from the left of the dealer, you are certain to be at the blinds just like everyone else at some point. In such a situation, it is important for you to learn and develop the advanced poker strategy of defending your blinds the right way to boost your winnings. With that in mind, let us now dive deeper into this topic.
Getting Started with Defending Your Blinds
To begin with, one must know that blind positions are possibly the worst place to play poker games from. These are forced bets, and you should estimate an amount that you could lose without regaining; it’s just the nature of the game and everyone experiences it. Having this mindset will allow you to not think in terms of calling excessively from the blind positions. It may hold true that you could have better pot odds with blinds invested. However, let this not force you into calling every raise with no thinking. So, to begin defending your blinds, you need to be aware of the game’s situation and those you face for this poker game strategy to be effective.
Positions are Vital in Defending Your Blinds
Table positions matter a lot while executing any poker strategy, and this is no different from when you try to defend your blinds. The ‘raising’ ranges of most players tend to go wider as they get closer to the dealer’s spot. This denotes that before you decide to call, raise or fold, you know precisely where the raise came from. The range you use to defend must be tighter as your opponent raises from earlier positions. Opposite to this, let’s assume that if your opponent raises while the action has folded to the button, then it is a safe bet to tackle them with a broader range of hands and defend with below-par cards.
The kind of poker opponent you are up against also influences your decision to defend or not. Someone who plays tight will be careful with the hands they raise even if they are at the button. Similarly, a maniac won’t budge ‘raising’ with weaker hands even at early positions. Make sure you analyse the kind of opponents you face, the positions they are at, and the sort of hands they use. You can do this to decide your defending range in poker.
Beginner Methods to Defend Your Blinds
A challenge that most beginners face while defending their blinds is that they are put in difficult situations towards the latter part of the game. Due to this, they could end up losing more than what they called during the pre-flop. To tackle this, you must play with a tight range of cards when you’re not in the blinds and be willing to fold with weak hands during the post-flop play. One point that beginner poker players must bear in mind while calling with weak hands is that you must flop more than a pair to content for a big pot. By being open to the idea of folding in the post-flop play with marginal hands, you could save yourself from adding value to the pot with a potentially losing hand.
There is no perfect online poker strategy that will aid you amidst all circumstances. However, if you are determined to get habituated to many nuances of the game, you are bound to improve and adapt as per the prevailing situations at the table. We hope that through this guide, you were able to learn how to defend your poker blinds in NL Holdem games the right way. Like all game plans and strategies involved in poker games, here too, the key is to remain composed and patient. You won’t know how good your ideas are until you don’t put them to test. So, compete in an NL game first and see if you make correct poker moves. The rest will come as you gain experience.