Blocking Bets is a strategy that is used to help control bets in a situation where you wouldnít normally have that control. A block bet is placed when you are out of position and unsure of your hand strength. This gives you the opportunity to take the control away from your opponent in a situation where you think you have the winning hand but you donít have the nuts.
Itís not something that can be used each time you play a hand, similar to bluffing but it can save you money. As an example if during a hand your opponent has bet the flop and turn and you think your hand may be the winner but youíre unsure of the strength in your opponents hand, you can place a block bet which is generally half the pot or the pot first before your opponent gets the chance to do so on the river. The reason for doing this is simple. By betting first the likely hood of your opponent re-raising you with anything less than the nuts is slim. Obviously some will, but most wont and thatís how you save a few bets. If you were to let your opponent bet, more than likely he would bet the pot size or above, forcing you to put more money into the hand to see if yours is the winning hand.
You can use the same strategy on other streets as well, such as betting on
the turn out of position when you are drawing to a flush or straight.
Just like every other strategy you need to use the information that has been provided to you at the table prior to making a bet like this. These things include, how often your opponents fold, are they tight, loose or passive. All of these variables come into play. If you do place your bet and your re-raised than you will know the strength in your hand against your opponents, but if you bet and your opponent only calls Ė you will have been able to see a showdown without putting as much money into the pot if you had let your opponent bet first.