Stealing Uncontested Poker Pots

It happens all the time. There are four people in a pot and the flop comes K36 and everyone checks. The turn is a Ten and everyone checks again. Then the river is a 2 and everyone checks it down. Ace high or a pair of threes takes the pot. That pot could have been yours, with a well timed bluff.

Do you ever steal multi-way pots? If you don’t, you’re missing out on a boatload of money.

People tend to play their cards face up when there are multiple players in the pot. They bet their hands for value and give up if they don’t hit anything. You can exploit this tendency by knowing when to steal uncontested pots. Here’s how:

Cultivate a Tight Image

Tight players tend to bet a stronger range so it stands to reason that a tight player will get more respect when they bet in multi-way pots. Whereas a loose-aggressive player will get called by second or third pair, a tight player will usually only get called by top pair or a decent draw.

Stealing uncontested pots is great way for tight aggressive players to profit from their table image.

Wait Until You Have Good Position

I don’t mean that you should wait until you’re in late position (though it helps). You can have good relative position. For example, you’re in the big blind with 67s and UTG+1 raises. Mid position calls and the button calls. You call in the big blind.

In this example, your position is bad but your relative position is good. You can check to see what the pre-flop raiser does and how the callers react. Even though you’re in the big blind your check will let you see how everyone else reacts to the flop and that will give you the information you need to see if the pot can be stolen.

If you are new to poker, then do a quick read of our article on how to play position at the poker table, and it will give you some basic knowledge on the subject.

Know Which Flops To Steal

Good flops to steal are dry flops or flops with a lot of high cards. For example, if everyone checks a J72 flop and checks again when a 5 comes on the turn, you’ll probably take it down with a bet. The same is true for an AQJ flop.

However flops like T97 with two of a suit are almost impossible to steal multi-way. This flop makes a lot of sets, two pairs, flush draws and straight draws for the kind of hands that people play multi-way. Tend to shy away from coordinated boards and boards with a lot of middle cards.

Know Which Opponents To Pick On

You can’t steal a pot from calling stations. They call. It’s their defining characteristic. Tight post-flop players are the best players to steal from.
Even a player with a high VPIP can be tight post-flop. Pay attention to the “Fold to C-bet” stat to see if a player if playing fit-or-fold. These are the best players to bluff.

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Players tend to give bets a lot of credit in multi-way pots so take some time when you find yourself facing 4 or more players and evaluate the situation. There might be a good chance that you could steal the pot with a modest bet.

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