What is ‘Steal the Blinds’?
Steal the blinds or a ‘steal attempt’ or a ‘blind steal’ is a poker term. It is used when a poker player decides to raise before the flop with the aim of winning the blinds completely uncontested. If every other player at the table folds when the player raises, they will scoop the blinds no matter what cards they have. In this case, it is not necessary to see the flop and the game will continue onto the next hand. If a player is successful in stealing the blinds, it is usually because they have played far more aggressively with a weaker hand than they would have done normally.
‘Steal the Blinds’ Explained
Stealing the blinds can prove profitable, particularly in the later stages of a game when the blinds are bigger. If a player has already seen most of the table fold before the play reaches them, it may be tempting to raise just to see if they can steal the blinds. Experienced poker players and poker professionals know that if they are going to be successful, occasionally they will have to steal the blinds.
One way to steal the blinds is by finding a target at the table. If a player has figured out that they have a tight player to their left, that may make them a prime target to steal from. Tighter players don’t expose themselves to a lot of risk and will only generally bet if they have an extremely good hand, so a player may wish to play the odds and attempt to steal the blinds against a tight player without exposing themselves to a great deal of risk.
Another tactic used to steal the blinds is called ‘late positioning’. With this tactic, a player who finds themselves in late position uses their position to their advantage by raising. In most cases, the player will only be facing the blinds and the player’s opponents are going to have difficulty calling if they don’t have at least a decent hand. If the opponent calls, it means they are going to put themselves out of position for the rest of the hand. In this instance, the player attempting to steal can either test their opponent, or they can get out the way easily.