Save Face And Money With A Blocking Bet

Alex | April 4, 2010

Something that many players seem to gain the concept of is that placing a smaller, well thought out bet into a pot once the river card has been placed can in fact save you money!

That’s right, the math behind the concept is that when you think that you have the best hand after all of the community cards have been placed into play, you can place a smaller bet into the pot in the hope that your opponent will only call your action.

The use of a smaller bet in your moment of doubt means that you are able to prevent yourself placing too many chips into a pot when you have a feeling that you have the strongest hand but your not entirely sure.

If you think about what this would mean, you can see that placing a bet of say 300 chips would be better towards you chip stack than if you were to lead out with a bet worth 1000 chips.

When you have any sort of doubt in the strength of your hand, you need to perform damage limitation just in case your subconscious mind is correct and you are in fact trailing at this point.

A blocking bet could also be referred to as a protection bet or information bet, meaning that you are able to take more information from your opponents actions following you bet.

If the player simply calls, you are in with a chance of being right and winning the hand as the player isn’t willing to stake more chips than you are on their hand, meaning that they don’t have the best hand clearly.

Should your opponent opt to raise they are signaling to you that they have a hand of strength and so you need to think about laying your hand down, you will have still saved yourself chips should you lose. Placing a blocking bet means that your opponent needs to think about how they are going to act, eliminating the possibility of simply checking the hand and eliminating hands that were played in order to chase a straight draw or flush.

Replacing the option of seeing the card showdown for free, you are replacing their options with the removal of a positive play for a negative.

Success within poker relies on your ability to limit another player’s choices and making them pay to continue to continue within a hand.

There is no rule that states that a player who feels that they are holding the strongest hand after the community cards are within play, so you need to hold off doing so unless you know that your holding the nuts.

Even once you are holding the nuts, you have to evaluate the opponent that you are still within the action with, how much are they likely to be willing to call?

Taking a moment to think about the player that you are against will mean that you are able to increase the value of the pot and furthermore, your potential winnings.