If you want to be a winning Limit Holdem tourney player, understanding the importance of playing the blinds is of vital importance. The inability of players to win in tourneys can be traced by their inability to play or comprehend its significance.
For someone who is just getting started in Limit Holdem tourneys, the crucial part that the blinds will play in the course of the game cannot be overestimated. Those who are used to playing in cash games will often this aspect to be the most difficult thing to adjust to.
The reason of course, is that they are used to playing in games where the pot bets often render the blinds insignificant. That is not the case in Limit Holdem tourney play; depending on the format, the blinds can increase every hour or every ten minutes. At any rate, by the time the final table comes up, the blinds will become a significant factor in deciding how much a player bets, calls or raises.
As such, it will make it difficult for players to make decisions, and this added pressure is something that is not usually found in most cash games. It is however, part of every tourney game.
Be that as it may, one should not tighten up, as is the reaction of most players. Instead, your Limit Holdem strategy for playing the blinds should lean towards aggression. Take advantage of the timidity of your opponents to steal them. In most tourneys, holding medium pairs or Ax hands will be enough to steal the blinds.
At the same time, you should try to protect your blinds too, as often as you can. For example, if you think that your opponent is trying to go for a steal with a marginal hand, raise him. If he is a loose player, you can three bet, and that will in most cases get the player to fold.
Of course, you should also not go overboard about this; there will be times when you will have to fold. When playing the blinds in Limit Holdem tourneys, as anything else in Poker, evaluating the table is important.
Learning how to play the blinds is crucial. If you are in the blinds, you should take the steps necessary to protect it, and if you are not, take every means to try and steal it. Most new Limit Holdem tourney players are ignorant of this fact, so take advantage and make money.