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The ‘Baluga Theorem’ was created by Andrew Seidman who posts regularly on the two plus two poker forums under the alias ‘BalugaWhale’.

This theorem was created around 2005/06 and is still relevant today. It states…

So an example…

We have…

We raise it up to 3BB’s and get one caller who is the small blind. The flop comes…

The small blind checks and we have top pair top kicker so we bet around ¾ pot and are called. The turn comes…

Again the small blind checks and we bet around ¾ pot again as we are feeling pretty good about our hand strength at the moment. But then BOOM, the small blind raises us. You should now strongly consider folding.


The small blind would probably never raise a flush draw here because they would likely raise the flop while they have more equity in the hand, especially as the majority of players think it’s fine to get your chips in on the flop with a flush draw. They wouldn’t raise top pair as it is very likely we have at least top pair as well after continuation betting the flop and barrelling the turn. This is largely going to be sets and two pair hands that have us crushed. Even if you throw a few draws in as semi bluffs then this is still a fold in most situations as we are behind the overall range of our opponent.


You should, as always, consider your opponent in all of this. If he is a crazy maniac then you probably shouldn’t fold here as these types either don’t have a clue or just want to have a bit of fun.

If he seems to be a decent player then this is almost always a fold. They will very likely know that bluffing in a situation like the above is only going to bring their win rate down.

This also means you can use this to your advantage against known good players. Bluffing here is risky but doing it against the right type of player will likely bring a fold from your opponent. Although unless you are comfortable with bluffing, you should just stick to the basics.

Read the original thread from BalugaWhale on the two plus two poker forums.


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