The term poker big blind refers to the seat at the poker table to the direct left of the small blind position. Big blind is also the name of the mandatory preflop payment that a player in this seat has to pay before being dealt any cards.

In this guide we’ll learn the following -

How Much is the Big Blind Payment in Poker?

The big blind payment is usually twice the size of the small blind payment, although not always, it depends on the venue. The big blind amount is the second number when describing the stakes of a poker game. For example, if the stakes are $1 / $2 it means the big blind value is $2 while the small blind value is $1.

How Should We Play from the Big Blind in Poker?

Cold calling a wide range of hands from the big blind is an important part of good poker strategy. We effectively get a discount on any preflop call since we have already invested the mandatory 1bb big blind payment. We also close the action preflop which means we are guaranteed to see a flop after cold calling.

What Should Our Winrate Be from the Big Blind?

It is completely to standard to have a negative winrate from the big blind. Being forced to post 1bb without seeing any cards is a huge disadvantage. A good player will typically expect to have a winrate of around -30bb/100 hands in the big blind. To put that into perspective, if we folded every time in the big blind our winrate from that position would be -100bb/100 hands so -30bb/100 is still a big improvement.

Why Does the Big Blind Act Last Preflop?

Why does the big blind get to act last preflop instead of the button in Hold’em? In some senses it doesn’t act last. It actually actssecond preflop (after the small blind), since the mandatory blind posts are counted as the first action on the preflop betting round. The blinds then must act for a second time preflop in response to any raises that were made by the other players. This is a concept known as relative position.

How Often Should We Cold Call from the Big Blind in Poker?

Good poker players usually cold call a minimum of 27% of hands from the BB. This is just an average value though. It makes sense to call wider vs small blind and button opens but tighter against open raises from earlier positions. In a BB (big blind) vs SB (small blind) situation, a good player in the big blind will usually cold call at least 35% of holdings (but potentially much wider since it also depends on the size of the open raise).

How Often Should we Three-Bet from the Big Blind in Poker?

Good players typically three-bet around 8% of hands from the big blind. This is just an average value though. It makes sense to 3bet more aggressively vs small blind and button opens but tighter against open raises from earlier positions. In a BB (big blind) vs SB (small blind) situation a good player in the big blind will usually 3bet around 15% of holdings.

Summary

The big blind is not considered an especially great position at the table since it is often forced to play out of position postflop. However, due to the mandatory 1bb preflop investment it is strategically correct to defend a wide range of holdings from the big blind when facing preflop open raises. The big blind also is guaranteed to be in position specifically when playing against the small blind and so should defend actively when facing open raises from this position.

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