In poker, you need to be able to get chips in every possible way. This will allow you to win more at cash tables and go further in tournaments. One of the main tools of every player is the steal play. Let's talk about the meaning.

What is attempt to steal in poker?

An attempt to steal in poker is a raise from late position by a player wanting to take the blinds, meaning the chips in the SB and BB positions. The presence of those blinds, which two poker players make automatically, encourages opponents to act more proactively since there are already chips in the center of the table to take.

Stealing is traditionally an opening raise from late positions: meaning the cutoff and button. Although professional poker players often call raises from earlier positions this way – after all, they look strong and have good chances of success.

Learn to steal and collect chips in more situations

A steal is one of the most important techniques that often allows you to win chips with virtually no fight: either preflop (if your opponents have nothing to resist with) or on the flop with a continuation bet.

Here's why you should try to steal the blinds in different disciplines:

  • Multi-table tournaments. Here, steals are used to keep the stack in working order. The constant increase in the level of blinds forces you to play more actively.
  • Cash. The game is traditionally more standardized here, since the blinds do not increase. Opponents have no incentive to defend the blinds widely. As a result, by stealing, you will increase your win rate.
ATS in Poker: Use This Stat to Steal More Blinds
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Two late positions at the table are ideal for stealing the blinds – the cutoff (CO) and the button (BTN). Look at your statistics in Holdem Manager 3, PokerTracker 4, or other software. From these two positions, you open the widest range of starting combinations – and these are the ones you play with the most profit. This is due to the fact that there are not many competitors left after you – and the chances of success increase. Plus, postflop you are playing in position, which gives you a huge advantage.

The cutoff and button are the latest positions at the table (which comes with benefits)

But what should you pay attention to when preparing a steal? A few recommendations:

  • Number of chips. This applies to both your stack and your opponents' stacks. For example, the table's chip leader on the big blind will be more willing to defend it than a short-stacked player with 5-15 BB in their stack (the latter will often go all-in on your raise from late position).
  • Image. If you play like a maniac, opening every other hand, your raises will have little credibility. The opposite situation is if you play carefully and more tight.
  • Tournament stage. For example, on the bubble, when the cost of a mistake increases significantly, opponents will more often give up the blinds without a fight at all. And, on the contrary, in the early stages of MTT, when the stacks are very deep, players defend the blinds extremely widely.
Holdem Manager 3: Review of Features + Free Trial
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Let’s go over some table positions that are best to attempt steals from.

Cutoff (CO) and Button (BTN)

The cutoff and button are the two best positions for stealing. But only if all your opponents have folded their cards before you. If there are several limpers in the pot, then from late position you need to make a large raise, which in poker slang is called an isolate.

The tricky thing about stealing from these two positions is that you have a better position postflop, because you'll be in position against the blinds. Stealing from the small blind is significantly worse because you'll have to open the pot postflop if the big blind decides to call your bet.

Small Blind (SB)

Stealing from the small blind is a fairly rare occurrence, since all opponents will fold hands to you extremely infrequently. Here, you need to be careful when choosing a starting hand for an open raise, since you will be playing out of position postflop. Test this at whatever stakes you are comfortable with online.

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Re-stealing is a counteraction to an attempt to steal the blinds. This is re-steal can be made from three positions:

  • Button
  • Small blind
  • Big blind

Resteal is not always done with premium hands. Often this bet is made with random cards – to counter overly-active raisers.

Understanding which hands can be used to steal* and when it is better to abandon this idea comes with experience. To improve your game, you can use the following techniques:

  • Work with poker software. The GipsyTeam store has collected many programs at the best prices on the Internet. Each application solves its own problems – from training push-fold to improving postflop decisions. Some trackers display statistics on opponents at the gaming table. This useful data, like VPIP and ATS stats, will expose aspects of your opponent’s game.
A HUD from Holdem Manager 3
  • Chat on the forum. It is not necessary to discuss and analyze hands in every message. You can start your own blog or chat about poker-related topics. The GipsyTeam poker forum is the largest in Russia and is ready to accept players from English-speaking countries now! Post your story or question and start the discussions.
  • Watch videos. This is the most accessible educational content in 2022. You can watch both live broadcasts (streams) and VODs on YouTube or Twitch.
  • Play in poker freerolls and work on your strategies. There’s no practice like a freeroll for beginners. No cost to enter and a prize pool make for a perfect place to test strategies like steals.
Register using this link to get access to GipsyTeam bonuses:
  • Increased first deposit bonus
  • Increased rakeback and reloads
  • Help with deposits and cashouts
  • Access to private freerolls
  • Round-the-clock support
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