MCU poker tip: Hold ’em, don’t raise from big blind

When many opponents just call my big blind, I’ll seldom raise without a powerful hand. Intermediate strength is seldom enough to justify using my option to raise from the big blind position.

Why not raise?

One reason I don’t raise with moderate strength is because I’ll need to act early on all future rounds of betting, giving all (or most) of my opponents a positional advantage. (The small blind is the exception.) Another is that raising will reduce my pot odds. Right now the pot is offering me infinitely good odds, because I can choose to see the flop for free. Any bet I make will greatly reduce the value of that “free gift,” although the sacrifice is often worth it with significantly strong hands.

Against multiple callers, unless I have real strength, I will usually accept a free look at the flop. You should, too. — MC

Published by

Mike Caro

Twitter: FaceBook: Known as the "Mad Genius of Poker," Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority of poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full biography at

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