Big Blind basics explained. Useful tips for poker players

Look at some Big Blind tips based on Poker Academy’s Preflop Charts which you could purchase right now and start learning poker online.

By Filip Pedzich | 28 Jun 2024
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The Big Blind forces you to play a large number of hands, making it the most important position to learn if you want to instantly improve at poker. Look at some Big Blind tips based on Poker Academy’s Preflop Charts which you could purchase right now and start learning poker online.

Defending Big Blind. Don’t play every hand

When you are in a Blind vs Blind situation, it is very tempting to play every hand. However, you should understand your folding range to avoid losing money in the long run. As you can see below, in a 40 BB deep scenario, you are supposed to fold almost 35% of your range vs. a 3.5 SB open. The folding range typically includes off suited, disconnected hands with poor playability postflop.

40bb BB vs raise first from SB

Obligatory defenses vs. SB. Play your suited hands

Regardless of whether you have 20, 40, or 70 BB in a no ICM scenario, you must defend all of your suited hands against an SB raise. When you are 40 BB deep, you should generally use a calling strategy, but you can also make value raises with hands like ATs to AKs and occasionally use pure bluffs like T2s or 93s.

40bb Blind vs Blind, Big Blind vs raise first from Small Blind

Things are different when it comes to defending your BB vs. SB limps. Technically, the larger your stack, the more suited hands you should raise. When you are 100 BB deep, your minimum raising range for suited hands includes 8s, Ax, and one-gappers like 42 and 53. As your stack becomes shallower, more suited hands become pure calls. If you want to learn more about the best poker strategies, don’t hesitate to start your journey with Poker Academy’s GTO Trainer where you can study basic and advanced poker tactics.

Sometimes you can jam. Even when you have 30bb

When the opponent raises 3.5x from the SB with 30 BB, you mostly call (more than 55% of the time). Raising and folding are also options, but there is a small percentage of hands you can sometimes use for ISO jams. As you can see below, some hands like AQ and AJ offsuit are good for going all-in, as you could be called by worse Ax hands or dominated hands like KQ, QJ, or even A5s. It is also strongly recommended to isolate with pocket pairs from 5s and below so you can make your opponents fold more often.

30bb Blind vs Blind, Big Blind vs Small Blind raise first 3.5bb
30bb Blind vs Blind, Small Blind vs. all-in isolation from another 30bb player

Be polarized. Learn how to play off suited hands

The offsuit portion of the Big Blind range against an SB limp is polarized. This means you mostly want to raise your best and worst hands. Holding hands like Q2o, 85o, and 72o unblocks part of the Small Blind’s limps, which they should fold against your aggression. You can see below how the SB should react when facing a BB 3.5x ISO raise (40 BB deep).

40bb Blind vs Blind, Small Bland vs. isolation from another player after limp
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