How and When to Steal the Blinds in Tournament Poker

It is an unwritten law of tournament poker that you should seek to steal dead money in any pot. With each blind you successfully do manage to steal you are adding to your own chip stack. Blind stealing is an essential skill to master especially given the mechanics of tournament poker and constantly rising blind levels.

When seeking to steal the blind you are trying to take down the pot without a fight from your opponents. You want them to fold instantly to your bet before the flop. The best time to try this is when you have late position and are last, or one of the last, to act. If when it is your turn and there are no raisers in front of you it could be a good time to attempt a blind steal by throwing out a good sized raise.

Bear in mind the characteristics of your opponents however because your stealing attempts will not work every time and a savvy opponent might pick up on what you are attempting and fight back. He might be trying to out bluff your bluff so to speak.

In the later stages of a poker tournament you can try to steal the blinds from early position as being one of the first to act can at that time be an advantage and used to scare your opponents in to thinking you have that monster hand pre-flop.

Always be on the look out for blind stealing opportunities. Take in to account your position, your chip stack size, the size of your opponents’ chip stacks, their playing style and the general table image. For example the closer a poker tournament comes to the bubble plat tends to become very tight as nobody wants to go out on the bubble. This could present you with stealing opportunities and help to build your chip stack in to a winning one.


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