Simply put, the Baluga Theorem states that you should think twice about whether your one pair hand is good when you’re facing a raise (and especially a checkraise) on the turn. That’s not to say that one pair is never good, but a raise/checkraise on the turn from your opponent generally means he has a very good hand and warning bells should start ringing in your head. He’ll probably have at least top pair with a good kicker or some kind of combo draw (i.e. pair + draw, flush + straight draw).
Let’s look at an example.
Hero (Button) ($100.00)
Preflop: Hero is Button with J♠, K♣
Hero bets $3, SB calls $2
Flop: ($6) J♣, 5♦, 8♥ (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $5, SB calls $5
Turn: ($16) T♣ (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $12, SB raises to $38
We should probably fold here. Our one pair hand is rarely good and even if we are ahead of a draw, there are a lot of very dangerous cards that can come on the river that we would have to fold to. It is unlikely that JQ or worse would play it this way and we’re putting ourselves in an extremely poor spot if we call.
If your opponent is aware of the Baluga Theorem, raising or checkraising the turn as a bluff can be very profitable.
Medium-High: The Baluga Theorem was forged in 6max games, but it’s still pretty reliable for heads up.
In the next installment, we’ll talk about Clarkmeister’s Theorem.