WPT Global: What are Blockers in Poker and How Do They Work?
Table Of Contents
Poker is a game of skill and strategy that requires players to make the best decisions possible based on the information available to them. One important concept in poker strategy is the idea of "blockers."
Blockers refer to the cards a player holds in their hand that make it less likely that their opponents have certain strong hands.
However, knowing what blockers are and when to use them is a completely different game, but luckily, the folks over at WPT Global have nicely outlined when you can and should use blockers when playing poker.
Understanding blockers is particularly important in a game like Texas Hold'em, where players have two hole cards and can use five community cards to make their best hand. By understanding which cards are more or less likely to be in their opponents' hands, players can make more accurate assessments of the strength of their own hand against their opponents.
The concept of blockers is closely related to the idea of hand ranges, which is the range of hands that a player might have based on the actions they have taken so far in the game. By considering blockers and hand ranges together, players can make more informed decisions about whether to bet, call, or fold in a particular situation.
Understanding blockers is not just about knowing which cards are less likely to be in your opponents' hands. It's also about understanding how your opponents might interpret the cards that you hold.
One important thing to remember is that blockers are only one part of the equation in poker strategy. They should be used in conjunction with other factors, such as the size of the pot, the position of the players, and the style of play of your opponents.
Play With WPT Global's Newest Ambassador Ethan "Rampage" Yau
Using Blockers to Bluff
Using blockers for bluffing in poker can be a tricky strategy that requires a good understanding of your opponents and their likely hand ranges.
Before you can use blockers to bluff, you need to have a good understanding of the blockers in your own hand. Identify which cards in your hand are blockers for strong hands that your opponent might have, and think about how those blockers might influence their decision-making.
Bluffing with blockers can be effective, but it's important not to overuse this strategy. If you bluff too often, your opponents will catch on and be more likely to call your bluffs. Use your blockers strategically and mix up your play to keep your opponents guessing.
Hero opens from the button with and is only called by the big blind. The flop checks through to the turn. Hero, now with open-ended straight draw, bets. The opponent calls and the river completes the board.
Your opponent then decides to bet half pot. What do you do?
Well, as you hold the , you know the villain cannot have the nut flush nor a hand like .
As the and are on the flop, you can rule out them holding hands like and . If they had , then it's likely they would have raised on the turn with a straight.
You also have a ten in your hand, which blocks some straight combos. This could mean that your opponent has a weak flush, and a big bet could put them into the blender.
When is it Best to Bluff in Poker? WPT Global Has the Answers!
Using Blockers to Value-Bet
Using blockers for value-betting is also an important concept to familiarize yourself with, as this can help extract maximum value from your opponents' hands. The same concept of using blockers to bluff can also be used for using blockers to value-bet.
Value-betting with blockers works best when you can reasonably assume that your opponent has a hand that is weaker than the one you're holding but still strong enough to call a bet. Unlike using blockers for bluffing, when using blockers for value-betting, you should focus on getting value from your hand instead of trying to bluff your opponent. This means that you should bet enough to extract maximum value from your opponent's hand rather than trying to scare them into folding.
While using blockers for value-betting can be effective, it's important not to overvalue your hand. If you think your opponent has a stronger hand than you do, it's better to check and give up on the hand than to lose more chips by making a value-bet.
Imagine a completed board of . Did you know that is actually better here to have a hand like rather than .
This is because having a hand like means unblocking your opponent from having the , the second-best possible flush on this board. Your opponent is more likely to call a big bet when they're holding a high-club card rather then a wheel-club card.
WPT Global Launches Weekly Tournament Leaderboards With Superb Prizes
Join WPT Global Today
The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world's largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories worldwide.
WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.
Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.