The Baluga Theorem of Poker

In this post I am going to introduce and familiarize you with a few well-known poker truth, the Baluga Theorem. Originally posted on the 2+2 forum, this rule was nicknamed from BalugaWhale, a 2+2 forum poster.

Baluga Theorem: If we have raised preflop and receive a re-raise when holding top pair on the turn, most of time we should re-evaluate the strength of one-pair hands and the right option is to fold.

Validity and conditions of theorem:

  • Our opponent is either straightforward or passive (!!!Most players are like this!!!)
  • There is not too much levelling during the game (at higher limits, this fades)

Add-on to theorem:

  • If the opponent check-raises on the turn, it always shows greater power than re-raising from position


  • At 100 big blinds deep, a typical opponents who hold one pair will usually only call on the turn if they have only called on the flop
  • Many players use slowplay on the flop, but there are very few who slowplay on the turn

Example no. 1

NL25 6max (stacks around 100bb)

We raise from UTG to $0.75 with
Ah Kd
Only the SB calls (SB 40/20 pasive - calling station - fish)

Flop: (Pot: $1.75)
Ac 9s 2s   
SB checks, we raise to $1.2, SB calls

Turn: (Pot: $4.15)
SB checks, mi raise to $3, SB re-raises to $8.5, we fold.

Example no. 2

NL100 6max (stacks around 100bb)

We raise to $3 from MP with
Ks Jc
BB calls (BB is a multi-tabling regular. According to the statistics, he plays 22/17 with a 30% postflop aggression frequency)

Flop: (Pot: $6.5)
Jd 2h 6c
BB checks, we raise to $5, BB calls

Turn: (Pot: $16.5)
BB checks, we raise to $11, BB re-raises to $34, we fold.

The theorem mostly works against tight regulars and passive fish. The trickier and the smarter the opponent is, the more we need to focus on the specific circumstances. A few things to take into consideration before making a decision on using the theorem:

  • With what frequency we use the cbet and when we second barrel
  • What kind of card is the turn

If we are too active, and our opponent hits a straight-or flush draw on the turn, he can twist the situation into his advantage again by doing a semi-bluff.

BalugaWhale, the author if this theorem, is a high stakes no limit cash game player. He has been a member of the 2+2 forum since the dawn of time. At the moment, he can be found on the video site DeucesCracked, where you can watch a number of his videos. BalugaWhale writes about the Baluga Theorem here.