The First Two Cards: Late-Position Blind

In some of the card rooms, if you have missed the blind or just have entered the game, they allow you to post what is called as a late-position blind. (A blind to the right of the button) If you are new to the game you should post an amount equal to the big blind; if you have missed the blinds, you should post an equal amount to both the big and the small blinds.

However, in both the cases only an amount equal to the big blind is live. (This late position blind is posted in addition to the big and small blinds to the left of the dealer button.)

Because of your improved position and increased amount of money in the pot, there are important strategy changes against regular blind play. For example, if everyone passes, you should raise with lot of hands. This is one of those situations where either folding or raising is the best play, whereas calling would be the worst thing to do. But as you have already posted your blind, you cannot fold. This means that raising is generally correct. The exception is when you are against rivals who almost will defend their blinds, no matter how poor your hands are.

If few players have already called you would usually raise only with those hands that you normally raise with had you not posted a late-position blind. You may in fact, wish to raise less often, as your rivals will misread the strength of your hand.

Because of your position and if the pot is raised, you can call with the hand little worse than what you would play in the big blind. But you still have to be very selective, especially if you are against a good player. Notice to differentiate between a legitimate raise and a possible steal-raise. Against the steal-raise, it is good to play with any ace and most kings, based on how well your rival plays. And if you do decide to play you should in that case raise very frequently.

The First Two Cards

Addendum

In Texas hold'em, it is easy to specify exactly how the first two cards should be played. This is because at this level of play, proper strategy is not that difficult. This doesn't mean that you cannot make mistakes, but it does mean that if you know the situation properly and have a good judgment factor, it should be clear as to what the correct play should be. But this is not always the same in case when playing on the flop and beyond.

We would like to emphasize that unless you are in the blind, you should not be calling many raises, especially if the pot is short-handed. You should re-raise or fold, with folding being much more common in the game. To do otherwise is the classic "weak player" mistake, and it is best way to tell if a rival does not understand the game as well as he should.

One more thing to remember when playing hold'em is that it is easy to become irritated and to start too many hands. For example, a hand like

might look good as good as a hand like

In certain situations, such as when you are in a steal position and no one has yet entered the pot, this is possibly true. But in other situations, having the high kicker is very important. If an ace flops, a queen should win where a ten may not. You are much more likely to flop high pair with a queen than with a ten. Further, if you do flop high pair with a queen rather than a ten, you need not worry as much about over cards hitting on the later round. This includes lot of extra pots and lot of extra money.

The concepts and ideas presented in this section are all very relevant in hold'em. But even though when playing your first two cards correctly is important to winning play, it will not suddenly make you a winner. Correct play on the first two cards will allow you to only break even at best if you are not proficiency at the later rounds.

Continue Here : Holdem Strategic Concepts