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Stop bleeding money from the blinds

How to increase your winrate on blinds

In the long run, BB and SB are losing positions. The first reason for it is forced bets (blinds), the second one is a positional disadvantage. Even the strongest players lose money on blinds, but it doesn’t mean that you are to surrender.

This article is about four ways to minimize losses. Follow these recommendations and your winrate on blinds, as well as, total winrate will look much better.

Steal more from small blind

The easiest way to fix blind winrate is to widen the opening range from the small blind when you are first-in.

The general tendency on most limits is over-folding from the big blind. So, don’t be shy, use it.

To make the steal profitable, you should get many folds. To get more folds, increase the size of the bet. 2BB is good for a button but too small for small blind. A proper size of steal from a small blind is 3BB.
Stealing becomes even more profitable when you play with ante.

That said, stealing wide is an exploitative game. Good players know how to adjust. The best thing they can do is to widen calling and 3-bet ranges to win the pot there and then or postlop.

So, if you deal with a strong player on the big blind, just curb your enthusiasm, and tighten your opening range. Don’t worry, there will be other spots to fix your winrate.

Defend your Big Blind

As you already know, there is a tendency of over-folding from the big blind. How to fix it? The decision is obvious. Call wider from the big blind.

You have already invested one big blind in a pot, it makes a call with a wider range reasonable. But calling is not enough. Get ready to fight for the pot postflop.

Be aware of donk-bets

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Donk-bet is a lead into a preflop aggressor. Most of the times players do it to protect the hand that is connected to the board.

There are two major problems with donk-betting: range disadvantage and balancing the range.

What is a range disadvantage? As a preflop caller, you never call raises with aces, kings, queens, ace-king or other strongest hands. At the same time, you can’t exclude these hands from raiser s range.

It means that your calling range is weaker than the range of the raiser. And raising with weaker range into the better range is usually a bad idea.

Another problem with donk-betting is a balance. If you exclude the strongest hands from your range, your checking range becomes much weaker.

You can partially solve it by checking the strongest hands, but it leads to another problem. Thinking opponents will exploit by rarely betting on the flop.

Another reason to check the entire range is an informational disadvantage. If you make a bet, you give your opponent a piece of information, in case of the check, you leave him in the dark.

Check-Raise 'em All

Build check-raise range and make the postflop game more aggressive.

Check-raising is better than check-calling and there are two reasons for it:

  • You punish a wide c-bet range;
    The danger of check-raise makes the villain play value hands as bluff-catchers;

Check-raise works better on the boards, where there is a danger turn cards, which may kill the action, or the flops, where opponent have more bluffs.


  • Steal from SB more often
  • Defend BB more frequently
  • Avoid donk-betting
  • Check-raise at favorable boards

Playing on blinds is an important part of your strategy, but it is just a piece of the big jigsaw. How to collect them all? You can watch hours of poker videos, read dozens of articles, or spend hours discussing hands with friends. It will certainly help. But we want to make this process more effective. To get the most of all the information available you need a guide. And Academy of Poker is here to help.

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