If you know a little bit about poker already, then you are well aware that part of a solid strategy comes from how and when you place your bets. There is a great deal of psychology involved in modern poker and once you gain an understanding of how it works, you are going to be able to make much better decisions in terms of placing your own bets.
For those who might not yet have heard of them, blocking bets are bets that are placed with the intention of keeping one’s opponent from wanting to continue a showdown. They typically take place between 2 players who are left after the river card has been turned over on the table. If you still believe that you might be able to win the hand, but you aren’t quite positive, a blocking bet can help you as long as you are the first to act after the river card is revealed. The nice thing about being in this situation is that despite the fact that you will be ‘out of position’ you will be able to use this to your advantage. That means your opponent’s traditional position advantage is simply not going to work in their favor. Take this edge when and while you can get it.
When you place a blocking bet, what you are actually doing is setting a cost to find out if you actually have the highest hand. If you place a blocking bet of $5 then what that boils down to is it will cost you or your opponent $5 to find out who has the highest hand. Your opponent may call if they have the better hand, but had you not placed the blocking bet they may have raised the cost to continue playing higher and forced you to make a hard decision about whether or not to go on. If they have a weaker hand you may well force them to fold and collect the pot right away.
The crux of the blocking bet‘s usefulness lies in the fact that in poker when you show aggression, you give yourself an advantage. Instead of putting yourself in a position to analyze your opponent’s move and then try to react appropriately, you are taking the power into your own hands and guiding the flow of your game just like the best players do regularly. This is precisely what you want, whether you are a beginner or already have a significant amount of experience playing. Even the basic concepts are something we all need to remind ourselves of regularly. If you want to try out a great poker room take a look at: Pokerstars free.
In essence, what you want is to determine what your opponent is likely to hold. Obviously, this is poker and you are still making a bet. The core benefit a blocking bet brings you is the element of confusion. By making your opponent stop and think, you can shake their confidence in their own hand. That is exactly what you want. A blocking bet can take that win away from your opponent and put that pot in your hands instead. This is the goal and like any poker play, it may or may not always work, but having one more maneuver up your sleeves means you are well armed to take on more and better challengers to win more and bigger pots.