How to Play Your Big Blind vs a Small Blind Open

Today I am going to share a little secret with you – the Big Blind (BB) gets to play super loose vs Small Blind (SB) opening raises!

When the action is folded all the way around to the small blind, most people are opening around 40% of hands. Their range will resemble something similar to this chart:

SB opening 40%

Against this standard small blind opening range, we in the big bling get to play quite a few hands.

#1 We are being offered favorable pot odds:

When facing a pot sized opening raise of 3x the blinds from the SB, we in the BB will be risking 2 blinds to win 4 (our 1 blind already posted, and the 3 blinds the SB as put in the pot).  We need to have 33% equity to continue (assuming we can realize all of our equity postflop – which is not possible – but that’s another whole discussion)

#2 We will have positional advantage – which translates into an information advantage  AND a pot size control advantage.

Here is your gold for the day:

bb vs sb

(Red Dots are the hands we want to 3-bet (re-raise) vs SB opens)

This big blind preflop range – vs small blind open raises – is a very solid default range. As you get comfortable playing this range, you can add in more hands to defend and more hands to both value 3-bet and bluff 3-bet.


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About the Author
Matt Colletta

Matt Colletta

I’m Matt “Checkmate” Colletta. I’ve been playing poker professionally since about 2004.

As one of the poker pros on, my goal here is to help transform at least one hobbyist poker player into a self made millionaire.

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