Block betting is an important concept for any poker player to understand. It involves making small bets to stop opponents from raising or re-raising you. Additionally, it can be a handy tool in cash games and tournaments. Knowing when to use block bets can give you a considerable edge over your opponents, as they will often be unsure how to respond correctly.
This article will discuss block bets and why it’s such a powerful strategy in online poker. We’ll also explain the best times to make these kinds of bets so that you can get maximum value out of every hand.
What is Block Bet?
A blocking bet often referred to as a block bet or a blocker bet, is a lesser wager placed out of position in the hopes that your opponent will call rather than raise. Poker block bets typically range from 1/4 to 1/3 of the pot and are made to see the river or showdown as inexpensively as possible.
In circumstances where you are unsure of the strength of your hand, blocker bets can be helpful. If you check when out of position, your opponent might make a sizable bet and force you to fold. As a result, you place a little wager instead of checking to get your opponent to call and check the following street.
Why Should You Block Bet?
As an Out-Of-Position Strategy
In poker games online, you can check to view a free card when your opponent checks while you are in position. Yet, checking suggests weakness when you are out of position, and you enable your opponent to place a bet that might compel you to fold. You end up giving your adversary a permit to act aggressively. So, you can employ a blocking bet to fend off your opponent’s aggression when you are out of position.
You control the action by placing a blocking bet and preventing your opponent from opening fire. Your opponent will think you have something when you wager. If your opponent is unsure of their hands, they will likely call and look at the next street.
Making a Cheap Escape
A blocking bet might be helpful when you are unclear whether you will have the better cards on the turn or river. You can get out inexpensively with a blocking bet if you believe you hold the second-best hand, such as a middle or bottom pair. If you check with the second-best hand on the turn or the river, your opponent can make a sizable bet that forces you to fold. So, a small wager lets you spot a showdown or cheap turn. You still win the pot if your opponent has a weaker hand than you do.
Cover Your Draws
The blatancy of a check from out of position increases when you have draws on the turn. To give you difficult pot odds to call, your opponent only needs to read your drawing hand and bet the full pot or more. Hence, when you place a blocking bet, you conceal your hand and indicate that you had a hit up until the turn. Your adversary won’t determine if you possess the top pair, middle pair, or even a set. When you complete your draw on the river, you might get more value by hiding it.
How to Use Block Bets
Using this technique will depend on the situation. Here we will give some scenarios where you can use block bets when you play poker online.
When you have a hand with a weak top pair or second pair and a strong kicker, this is a typical situation in which a block bet can perform fairly well.
Without further progress, you check the flop, the raiser decides to check again, and another pair of checks occur on the turn.
Instead of allowing your opponent the opportunity to place a large bet on the river, bet into him instead. This will force him to call with his medium-strength hands, which have you beat and prevent you from calling big bets.
Also, they will be more likely to call your small wager with a few of their bluff-catchers. This would result in you drawing extra chips in a position where it would probably go check-check again if you did not wager yourself.
Boost the Value of Your Bluffs
By employing this tactic, you can enhance the value of your bluffs. This will work when you are confident in the card that is not in your opponent’s possession. Because you have that card, you can take advantage of this to put your opponent in a difficult situation.
For instance, your opponent appears fairly confident, and you hold the ace card in your hand. He is placing constant bets, giving you the appearance that he is in control. His assurance may seem overwhelming, yet it is only a bluff. There are only two options for some additional confidence and larger stakes: They hold the ace card or attempt to move your hand while having nothing.
Therefore playing steadily is the best course of action in this situation. You know they don’t have the ace because you hold it. Hence, the opponent confusing you is the only remaining alternative. But, you should exercise caution and utilize blockers to improve your winning percentage.
Pre-flop Raiser Ignores the Turn Bet
The original raiser often checks back on the turn after c-betting the flop in a single raised hand.
If you have a hand like second pair or a middle pocket pair in this situation, you may choose to block bet the river. You will control the pot, making it harder for them to decide.
The opponent may find raising with the top pair challenging because they can’t expect to get called by much worse. Additionally, placing a bluff bet can also appear to be scarier.
Disguising With Scary Hands on the River
From experience, you know that most players don’t have the flush—but drawing to something or a top pair to call you with. Therefore, instead of checking the river, placing a blocker bet can give your opponent the impression that you are likely to hold the flush or some other terrifying option.
In that situation, they might fold if your opponents don’t have a strong hand.
However, if you check, instead of using a block bet, even a poker player who is not very attentive will recognize that this is an excellent opportunity to bluff. This move will show that your hand now appears precisely what it is.
Placing this bet will spare you from choosing whether to bluff or not. If the blocking bet goes according to plan, you might even receive extra value from cards like the top or two pairs.
Using block bets can be tricky but an effective strategy in certain situations. Therefore, learn when to employ this tactic to get a better outcome. Try playing free games to practice this skill before jumping into online poker real money.