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…
“You must strongly re-evaluate one-pair hands when facing a turn raise”.
So an example…
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.
WHY SHOULD WE 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.
CONSIDER YOUR 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.
Strongly re-evaluate your one pair hand when facing a raise on the turn
Against tight players you should lean towards a fold
Against a maniac this theorem doesn’t really apply