You are more likely to be up against hands that are different suits or ranks to yours, so how should you proceed accordingly?
We have already discussed blockers in poker. A blocker is when you have a card in your hand that makes it less likely your opponent has a particular hand.
You can 3-bet bluff with a hand like A5s because it is less likely your opponent has a big Ax hand they can call with. You might also be able to hero call more often when your hand blocks the value betting range.
Once you understand this, it is not a big leap to understand today’s concept, which is ‘unblockers’, which when you do not block another player from having a likely hand.
What hands are more likely because of my hand?
Let’s say the flop is A 7 2. You raised preflop under-the-gun and get called by the Button.
If you have A A here you are obviously delighted to hold such a strong hand, but how to play it? Some might say bet for value, but the problem is that you significantly block the calling range. That Ace on the flop is a scare card and you hold not one, but two, Ace blockers. The chances of somebody having something they can call, most notably the remaining A is slim. Much better to check and let them bluff/catch a piece of the turn.
Instead imagine if you have 2 2 on this flop. This time around you can bet out with your set because you ‘unblock’ the likely calling range of top pair.
Blockers and unblockers are two sides of the same coin, it is simply a case of asking what hands you make less likely to be against with your own holding and which hands are more likely because you don’t have a piece of them. You can essentially make the same strategic adjustments flip around when you unblock a hand compared to when you block a hand.
How blockers play a role in pots where you chase draws
Blockers in PLO
Twice as many cards, twice as many blockers