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I know all the pros make the chip steal plays, but I have to say it just doesn't seem to work for me. I always run into a mule head that raises all in or has a pair of aces backed up.
What I do play is a modified steal, if I have a decent hand I raise enough to steal against a very weak hand.
you wouldn't call that a steal i think if u actually held the best hand i think..
so i'm guessing you are talking tournament here, don't try so much steal in ring games, not worht the money.
if your gonna do stealing preflop there's some cautions u might wanna take
first i guess you'll already know, don't reraise a raised pot to try stealing.
second, best time is to raise when you are in middle to end position and everyone in front of you folded.
third, be aware if you are gonna raise if early position limped. mid position limp means he doesn't have a decent hand so you should raise.
fourth, make sure only one of the players after you are big stack, raising against two people with large stack guarantees calls from at leats one of them with a semi decent hand. don't raise to steal if blind is big stack.
if everyone folded to you when you are in mid-to-end position, raise with any two face cards, suited connectors (down to 45), A-x, or K-7 or higher K-x
i usually do a lot of steal raises... in fact too much, so maybe my strategy won't work the best.
but don't do it too much like me cuz someone will pick up on that and reraise.
as for flop steal...
usually only try steal when you are up against 2 players, or one.
if there was no raise preflop and just limpers (take into consideration position & player) i tend to raise when i'm first to act... actually at any place as long as no one raised before. (preflop no raise with a check in flop usually means nothing... or monster, but mostly nothing)
definitely raise if you have an overcard.
when someone raised preflop and you call him on blinds (or earlier position then him) and you are only up against that raiser, and the board comes low cards, (ie 8 or 9 and lower) , bet out about 3 quarters of the pot, usually if he had two high cards he'll fold (unless he's loose or experienced enough to know you aren't holding much). most players at low limit will fold if they holld two high over cards.
if you are up against a raiser, and he acts before you, he will try a continuation bet, if he hit top pair, he will usually bet out just as big as 3/4 of the pot or more. If he only hit meddle pair or nothing, (or a monsterr) , he'll bet out 1/2 a pot , good time to try a 2x pot reraise on him...
ok that's how i usually play....
which usually leads to bad results i guess i dunno, take my advices or not,
adjust them to your advantage.
in the end you gotta get a feel for the players you are up against so i can't say these things will work for everyone.
anyways that's about it.
now everyone is gonna know how i play and thrash me in the freeroll oops
To add on to what nxtyear has said, stealing is mainly for large and mid stacks. It's tricky to try to steal when you're a short stack, especially when there are one or more large stacks after you, and even more so when they are in the blinds. You probably want to narrow the range of hands since your main play will be to push all in, and you're looking more to get called so you have the chance to double up, not for the blinds to fold, although that's not a bad result either.
I do agree that it is easier to steal blinds when big-stacked as opposed to short-stacked, but I do believe that the stealing of blinds when you're low in a tournament makes/breaks your outcome. Agreed, don't steal with 2+ people in the hand. If you are shortstacked and its you vs. the blinds, or you vs. one blind one caller, build up the courage to make the stealing bet. if you have 9x the BB and there are two players seeing the flop with you, the all-in can be very effective.
HOWEVER: Flops that look great to bluff at when you're against callers are a pretty bad thing to see against the blinds. How often do you get a premium in the big blind anyway? If you're against the blinds and its a junk flop, that's when things are ugly. Since you wouldn't regularly put the blinds on hands with significant strength, a broadway flop looks good. My last tournament I came in 7th from being a potential bubble boy because i held 8-5 off in the bb and somebody with slightly less chips than me made a move at a 467rainbow flop. He had AK suited and made a bad limp, but basically I'm saying that it's all about position, your make of the players involved, and even your hand. An all-out bluff makes you feel great when it works, but I'd prefer the semi-bluff when you could make the backdoor flush.
I think chip stealing is an important weapon in a tourney player's repertoire, but it has to be used selectively. It's certainly not a "tight" move, closer to the bluff side of the spectrum, so I would tend to use it (a) when I am playing at a tight or weak table, (b) later in the tourney when blinds are worth stealing, and (c) if I have either the chip lead or am desperately short stacked. As a rule, though, I don't go around stealing blinds every 2 hands or something.
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