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Hold'em Basics – The Blocking Bet

Hold'em Basics – The Blocking Bet

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If you possess a basic understanding of community card games like Texas Holdem and Omaha, you know that poker in general is a highly positional game. What that means is that players who are in late position enjoy a definite advantage over players in early position.

According to some of the experts, late position has such a far-reaching effect at the poker table that one can actually see the money follow around in the wake of the blinds. Wherever you read something about a strategy move or exploit that you can use to further your cause, you will always see it mentioned that whatever you do, you are best off doing it from late position. The problem however is that one is simply forced to play a lot out of position, and while simply avoiding trouble when in early position is a definite option, it doesn't hurt to have a trick or two up one’s sleeve when it comes to fighting back from under the gun.

The blocking bet is one such strategy option. What exactly is the blocking bet though? The blocking the bet is a bet fired out from early position with the goal of gaining control of the pot, by means of controlling how much money goes into it.

The player making the blocking bet will usually hold a marginal hand that can’t truly compete against a big bet. The blocking bet is a small bet which is likely to be called but which pretty much eliminates the chances of a raise. A properly placed blocking bet will allow the player making it to see another card and to potentially see a cheap showdown.

In order to place a blocking bet, the player needs to be in early position, because only by acting before one's opponents can one place such a bet.

Like everything done from early position, the blocking bet is a risky move. Indeed the target of the blocking bet can readily retaliate with a re-raise, therefore the move is pretty much only recommended against tight opponents with little experience under their belts.

The blocking bet can be used efficiently in cash games as well as in poker tournaments. It is really a finesse move, something that is considered small-ball poker by most experts.

Like with every other poker strategy move, it is highly recommended that one have a thorough understanding and solid reads in place on one's opponents when resorting to the blocking bet tactic.

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