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Poker Dictionary (106) > Steal

'Stealing' a Pot

A 'steal' in poker is normally a move in which a player makes a raise to win the blinds and / or antes uncontested. Blinds are posted by the two players to the left of the dealer. This ensures there is something to play for in each pot. Depending on the game, there may be an ante posted by each player. The logic behind these forced bets are to tempt players into getting involved in hands. Without these bets, players could just keep folding until they hit a top hand.

With this money in the pot, regardless of who decides to play, players who raise and get other players to fold, would win the value of the blinds and antes uncontested. This kind of easy money is an easy way to keep building your stack, especially against tight players. When a player raises (as a bluff) with the intention of picking up the blinds and antes, this is known as 'stealing the blinds'. This is a fairly standard play. Most players don't like their blinds being pinched by other players and get involved in hands at times that they probably shouldn't, in an attempt to deter players from making the play against them.

The earlier you are to act, the more players there are who could have cards to play with, so it makes better sense playing from late, with only a few players left to act. Stealing the blinds is also usually done when the action folds to you and post a raise (where everyone else folds). This is different from when there is second player who calls the big blind or raise and you post a re-raise or bet to force him out the pot. This is known as a squeeze play.

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