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Blocking Bet


What is a Blocking Bet?

A blocking bet is an advanced move in no limit holdem for when you are out of position and want to see the next card cheaply.

Sometimes when you are out of position and first-to-act you know that if you check to an agressive opponent he will hit back at you on the turn or river in order to steal the pot from you.  This is a very common move among LAGs (20/12 ) who have a high raising frequency post-flop.  You’d probably be surprised how many chips you can win by doing this yourself in position.  When you block bet however, you prevent this form happening by making a smaller raise than your opponent would if you checked to him, thus enabling you to see the next card cheaper with a min-raise.

Example of Blocking Bet:

Let’s say we have 7h-Ah in UTG and we call and our opponent’s pre-flop raise who has Ks-10d. The flop comes down 5h-Kh-2s giving our opponent top pair and us the nut flush draw.  Now we are first to act.

Scenario 1 – Without the Blocking Bet: We check the flop out of position in the hope of seeing the turn cheaply.  However our opponent wants to defend his lead so he bets out ½ pot giving us bad pot-odds to call.

Scenario 2 – Using the Blocking Bet: Instead of checking, we actually min-raise ¼ pot out of position and stop our opponent raising more.  He flat-calls our bet and we get to see the flop cheper.

In both these examples we get to see the turn, however using the blocking bet we get to see the turn cheaper – 50% cheaper in fact.  What we can conclude from this is that if we min-bet out of position and our opponent doesn’t decide to re-raise us we can see the turn cheaper.  This is the reason of the blocking bet.

Advantages Using the Blocking Bet

Not only does the blocking bet allow us to see flops cheaper when pulled off successful but they also increase our implied odds.  This is because by raising out of position on drawing hands it makes it look less likely that we’re on a draw.  Thus, when we finally manage to make a draw we get paid off better.

Against weaker opponents or someone who’s missed the flop completely a blocking bet can occasionally (though rarely) win you the pot.  A lot of the low stakes cash tables at UB contain weak nitty players like these, and you can sign up to ub with a $1100 bonus by using this ub referral code.

Another advantage of using the blocking bet out of position is that it camouflages our hand and makes it look like we’ve hit something (for example top pair).  This gives us greater bluffing equity if we decide to raise our opponent at a later street, and it also makes him less likely to raise us because he might fear we’re check-raising him.

Disadvantages of the Blocking Bet

The obvious disadvantage is that it’s risky and might not work.  The blocking bet is only profitable if we are certain our opponent will have a) raised to a check and b) won’t re-raise our block bet.  You do need to be really careful using this and it is definately more successful with fewer opponents.  When you’re playing heads up it’s much more profitable you should be using this tehcnique much more than in a 10-handed game.

Advanced Factors for Blocking Bet

You’re best of making blocking bets against loose-aggressive opponents who regularly cbet the flop.  However you also need to make sure your blocking bet isn’t too small that our opponent realises what we’re doing, a good-szes blocking bet is about ¼ pot – this is also called a min-raise bet.  You shouldn’t use less than this because your opponent will come over the top of you with any decent hand like top pair, and it also looks weak on your half.  Don’t bet any more than this either because this defies the point of seeing the next card as cheaply as possible!

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