Why you should make the BB pay to see the flop

hole cards…9h 4d
early in the game, his bet was probably 5xBB
granted, there were a few hands he could have made to beat the set, but he didn’t have to


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Yes, you should always make the BB pay to see the flop, unless your plan is to play something like 33 and fold it if you do not make a set.

I would say that my most profitable play of all in tournaments is simply to raise if I am first in the pot with any two cards, then if the BB calls and checks, try to take the pot down, regardless of whether the flop has hit you or not. Sometimes he will fight back on a draw and miss it and you can still take the pot.

Winning lots of pots with no cards is the way to go, because when you DO pick up some decent cards, no one expects it. Having raised with 7 4 suited and made a straight to the chagrin of opponents with hands like AK, you can now afford to limp in with AA and take the rest of their chips when you make what appears to be a bluff on the river.

That is certainly the way to go if you can manage it…personally I have trouble winning with no cards…

LOL! I should have said with “any two cards”.

Paired flops without flush draws are often good flops to steal, especially if the paired and single cards are undesirable cards, because they are less likely to be held, except in the blinds, so if you are BB and the flop comes with a pair of 3s, it is unlikely that an outfield player holds an unpaired 3 unless, possibly in combination with a suited Ace and in most cases he will not be able to call a lead-out bet. On the other hand, if the flop comes with AA, it is very risky, because many players never fold Aces, even unplayable Aces, and will frequently slow-play them, waiting for an opponent to make second best hand.

However, also bear in mind that in the early stages of MTTs, almost anything goes, and that the rules for superior play come into effect much more once the blinds are getting to the stage that hardly anyone has 20BBs.

SB play depends on a ton of different variables. On-line the GTO wizards are pretty much limp/completing the SB 100% when folded to for balance and it’s -EV playing OOP. Live however, the pros are either folding or raising the SB when folded to because the rake is high and you like to get the free money without seeing a flop. Now tournaments, that’s a whole different ball game. I play a mixed strategy from the SB in tournaments where my range is quite wide and mixed between limping and opening the entire range at about 50/50.

On a side note, I am nit picky when it comes to the terminology. Sets are when you hold a pocket pair and hit another of your cards on the board. They are much more concealed than their counterparts, trips is when you have a pair on the board like T77 and you hold a 7 in your hand. Cheers!

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thanks for the correction on the terminology. seems i’m playing the newbie card a lot nowdays.
about playing the blinds…is it me, or is there a big difference between the way blinds are played here, and the way the pros play them. of course everything is different, but i’m trying to remember seeing a BB check at the pros table, and can’t. no check/fold box, i guess.

“The pros” rarely get the opportunity to check their option in the big blind, because aggression is much more common in those games. It’s rare that prior players would limp, so the big blind will usually be facing a bet, or scoop when the table folds.