Poker Articles

Blocking a Bet

Not many poker players know about the blocking bet as a tactical move. The blocking bet is essentially used by one player on the River to stop his opponent from making a larger or unwinnable bet. This can also be used to get your opponent to fold but most often it's used to save your self from a bigger bet.

Let's assume you're holding an okay hand like a pair with a good kicker and a pair on the community board. Your opponent will be worried since there's a pair on the board and you've been betting hard. You will want to strengthen the thoughts that your opponent will have about the strenght of your hand. You're not confident that it's very strong, so safe play would be to check, but checking shows weakness and may encourage your opponent to a bluff so that's not a possibility. Folding is not an option since there's simply no reason to. So your only option is to bet, but you don't want your bet to get raised since you might not call a larger bet. Now we're gonna block his bet, we must bet enough so your opponent would simply be a fool to raise it but you don't want to make the bet too high, if it gets raised you end up loosing more if you don't have the best hand. So your blocking bet must show power and strength, possibly enough to get your opponent to fold, and also do damage controll for yourself should your hand not be the strongest. If your opponent doesn't fold, and you have the stronger hand, you will have increased your winnings by a medium range but with a bigger bet you would have surely scared him off which would have resulted in a smaller pot for you.

The blocking bet is a great Poker play but it should be used with care. If you want to use it against somebody who has usually been playing tightly, you might want to reconsider. These players are unlikely to bluf, so only use the bet block to limit your losses, not for winning. If you are playing against a very loose or aggressive player this play might backfire.

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