When to Make a Blind Steal Attempt

[Updated: An anonymous comment pointed out an error in the small blind table. Now fixed]


When playing poker I often attempt to steal the blinds. Too often, perhaps? I want to know which hands pay off for me with blind steal attempts.

If only I had a tool that allowed me to find out…hold on, there’s this Poker Copilot thingy I’ve been creating, marketing, selling, and supporting. Maybe that could help.

Poker Copilot doesn’t seem to have a “Blind Stealing Genius”…yet. So I did a manual query of the Poker Copilot database.

With the aggregate data I have, the following hands on average give a better result when trying to steal the blinds instead of folding. There are some unexpected gaps, probably due to some big losses.

.

Button
Avg return > 0
Avg return
in big blinds
Small Blind
Avg return > -0.5
Avg return
in big blinds

.

AA 11.64 AA 13.89

.

KK 9.03 KK 10.40

.

TT 4.23 QQ 5.51

.

JJ 3.72 AQ 2.77

.

AK 3.32 99 2.48

.

QQ 3.07 JJ 1.97

.

A2 2.39 AKo 1.94

.

T7 1.78 AJ 1.77

.

22 1.58 AT 1.34

.

KJ 1.54 JT 1.19

.

AKo 1.41 33 1.16

.

KQo 1.39 KQ 1.07

.

AQo 1.36 QJ 0.95

.

KT 1.25 55 0.87

.

88 1.22 66 0.79

.

99 1.10 AK 0.53

.

AT 0.94 77 0.52

.

AJ 0.94 T8 0.46

.

AJo 0.86 KT 0.43

.

A8 0.86 T9 0.42

.

T8 0.77 A4 0.39

.

A4 0.76 KJ 0.38

.

75 0.64 A9o 0.32

.

ATo 0.64 97 0.32

.

K4 0.63 A5 0.30

.

J9 0.63 54 0.28

.

52 0.54 98 0.21

.

76o 0.46 A8 0.17

.

T6 0.45 K3 0.00

.

K6 0.45 KQo -0.01

.

K7 0.41 Q4 -0.05

.

J8 0.41 K6 -0.07

.

JT 0.39 76 -0.10

.

T4 0.39 44 -0.13

.

A4o 0.39 AJo -0.16

.

K3 0.38 A3 -0.16

.

53 0.35 K7 -0.16

.

97 0.34 Q9 -0.19

.

QTo 0.34 AQo -0.21

.

Q3 0.33 65o -0.22

.

A5 0.31 64 -0.22

.

A6o 0.30 A8o -0.22

.

KJo 0.29 98o -0.22

.

95 0.28 A7o -0.23

.

QT 0.25 ATo -0.24

.

QJo 0.25 J9 -0.25

.

98o 0.24 Q8 -0.25

.

Q5 0.23 95 -0.26

.

K3o 0.22 QTo -0.28

.

Q8 0.21 K5 -0.30

.

42 0.21 T4 -0.31

.

Q7 0.20 A2 -0.31

.

98 0.20 Q2 -0.32

.

J2 0.20 63 -0.33

.

K6o 0.19 Q6 -0.33

.

A6 0.18 KJo -0.33

.

64 0.18 J4 -0.33

.

K8o 0.17 J6 -0.34

.

74 0.14 TT -0.34

.

Q9o 0.13 K9o -0.34

.

63 0.13 J7 -0.35

.

T8o 0.10 A6 -0.35

.

65o 0.10 J5 -0.35

.

92 0.10 Q3 -0.36

.

Q9 0.10 K6o -0.37

.

J3o 0.08 K2 -0.37

.

K5o 0.07 QJo -0.38

.

J6o 0.07 A6o -0.38

.

J6 0.06 83 -0.39

.

A9o 0.06 K4o -0.39

.

74o 0.05 85 -0.41

.

A9 0.05 T5 -0.42

.

A3o 0.05 74 -0.42

.

T7o 0.04 J3 -0.42

.

Q4o 0.04 J7o -0.42

.

J4 0.04 KTo -0.43

.

Q3o 0.04 T6o -0.43

.

83 0.03 32 -0.43

.

Q6o 0.03 96o -0.43

.

J4o 0.03 J8o -0.44

.

87 0.03 Q2o -0.44

.

Q2o 0.03 T9o -0.44

.

64o 0.03 97o -0.45

.

T5o 0.03 Q5o -0.45

.

84 0.03 Q8o -0.45

.

K2 0.02 62 -0.45

.

82 0.02 K5o -0.45

.

Q5o 0.01 J4o -0.45

.

53o 0.01 75 -0.46

.

77 0.01 T2o -0.46

.

T6o 0.01 Q9o -0.46

.

Q8o 0.00 94o -0.46

.

T3o 0.00 J2o -0.46

.

92o 0.00 83o -0.46

.

97o 0.00 22 -0.46

.

T4o 0.00 62o -0.47

.

J8o 0.00 92o -0.48

.

52o -0.48

.

42 -0.48

.

53o -0.48

.

73o -0.48

.

T5o -0.49

.

T8o -0.49

.

72o -0.49

.

32o -0.49

.

64o -0.49

.

73 -0.49

.

82 -0.49

.

Q4o -0.49

.

87o -0.50

.

A4o -0.50

.

63o -0.50

.

T3o -0.50

.

42o -0.50

.

A9 -0.50

.

Q7o -0.50

.

82o -0.50

.

Q6o -0.50



This is only a guideline; actual results are affected by many variables including your table image, the tightness of the big blind, and how you and the big blind play post-flop.

In general: from the button steal with Ax, Kx, Qx, Jx, all pocket pairs, and most connectors. If the big blind is tight, increase the range a bit.

From the small blind you can be more liberal. Steal with any picture card as well as pocket pairs, suited connectors, and the highest unsuited connectors.

Note to self: add to Poker Copilot the ability to find this easily information for your own hands.

Here are the queries I used:

For the button:

select handtype, count(*) as times, sum(takeinbigblinds)/count(*) as return
from gameplayersummary
where
starttime>DATE '2008-01-01' -- forces use of the best index for faster queries
and isplaymoney=false
and istournament=false
and ishero=true
and positionid=3 -- button
and gametypeid=3 -- no limit hold'em
group by handtype
having return > 0
order by return desc


For the small blind:

select handtype, count(*) as times, sum(takeinbigblinds)/count(*) as return
from gameplayersummary
where
starttime>DATE '2008-01-01' -- forces use of the best index for faster queries
and isplaymoney=false
and istournament=false
and ishero=true
and positionid=2 -- small blind
and gametypeid=3 -- no limit hold'em
group by handtype
having return > -0.5
order by return desc