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Fold the Small Blind

When you’re in the small blind and everyone limps around to you, what do you do? You only have to pay half a big blind to see the flop. If there’s a few other limpers in the hand, you might convince yourself that you’ve got great pot odds, that it can’t hurt to try and hit the flop, and the it’s such a small cost for a potential payout.

Though completing the small blind is only sometimes correct, most people rarely if ever fold in this situation. But, when we stop to think about it, we see that it’s a losing play and setting us up for disaster.

Acting First

When you’re in the small blind, you’re always going to be out of position. For the same reasons that the button is the best place to be, the small blind is the worse. It’s harder to know where you stand, it’s harder to control the size of the pot, it’s harder to bluff—it’s harder to do just about everything.

So, why would you ever want to play even a marginal hand from out of position? And why on earth would you want to play a bad hand is a bad spot? That’s possibly the worst situation you can find yourself in—a band hand out of position. And to think that you would put chips in the pot for such an opportunity!

Once you tighten up your range and start folding the small blind, the percentage of hands that you play in position will naturally rise. This, in turn, will give you a strategic edge and increase your overall winnings.

It Takes Discipline

The hardest challenge to overcome is mental. It’s so easy to complete the blind. It’s easy to think, “why does it matter?” or “I’ll just take a shot.”

The problems, however, start after the flop. Even if your junky hand ‘connects’ to the flop, it’s still hard to know where you stand. Take the classic bad hand, 72. If you flop a seven, you still probably don’t have the best hand. Unless you get super lucky and the flop comes something like 772, then you still can’t be confident in a value bet, and you can’t effectively bluff since you’re out of position.

When we stop and think about it, folding from the small blind makes a lot of sense. Try it out and see for yourself.

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