Advanced Poker Theory

Those looking at online sites like 888poker note that if you have a marginal hand with good draws, and you want to see another card before making a decision, then a blocking bet could allow you to get to the next card without being priced out.

An example: Say you are playing a cash game of $2/$4 no limit Hold’em and you are on the BB. The action folds around to a middle position who increases to $12, the SB calls, and you decide to call with a marginal hand like 9-10 spades. Now, the flop brings two spades (no straight draw), and you check-call the original raisers’ $24 continuation bet after the small blind folds.

The turn brings a blank. In this situation, you know that the original raiser will most likely fire another bet off. He’ll probably come in with about ¾ of the pot size. Currently, there is $84 in the pot so his bet of roughly $65-$84 will price you out of a call. So instead of check/folding you can put in a blocker.

If you have won some money over at 888casino of about $30 as you are giving yourself much better value. In this situation, you want to hope that he calls rather than re-raises or folds (even though this is very unlikely). Unless he re-raises you’re getting to see a river card for much less.

This is quite a dangerous move if you do not know what you are doing. However, by checking with a drawing hand you lose control. By betting a ‘normal’ bet you are risking too many chips, and in reality your only moves here are to check/fold, check/raise (to look like you’ve played a trap) or block. In any case, you should be using information that you would have collected about the players that you are up against in the hand to see if your block is the right move.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson also plays his poker at 888.com

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