When you are posting the big blind in a flop game and another player raises before the flop, you must decide if you want to call this raise. You are getting a “discount” on the hand because you already have money in the pot. This situation offers you a better price to call a raise since you are already “invested”, and is referred to as defending your blind. This is useful whether you’re on a real table or an online poker site. A big pitfall here can be either completely ignoring this opportunity, or what happens more often, defending your blind too much.
The advantage to being in the big blind is that you are actually last to act on the first round of betting (before the flop). You have a good idea of who will be seeing the flop and you can use your knowledge about those players to help in your decision as to continue on or not. The big disadvantage about position from the big blind is that you will be acting first (unless the small blind is still in the hand) after the flop.
Another advantage to playing from the big blind is that you generally have an easier time figuring out your pot odds more accurately and are getting better odds to play decent hands than others are. For example, if a single player has raised the standard limit amount and all other players, including the small blind have folded, you are getting 3.5 to 1 odds on your call. If you think your opponent has big, unpaired cards like AK, you have the correct odds to call with any hand that doesn’t contain an ace or a king (obviously aside from AA, AK, or KK). The other players who acted before you, but after the raiser were not getting these odds. Additionally, opponents have a harder time putting you on a hand when you play from the blind.
All that said; one of the big mistakes that players make is defending their blinds too much. Many players feel that since they already have money in the pot, they are already “pot committed”, a term meaning that folding is mathematically incorrect. More money is frequently lost from the blinds than any other position. Part of the reason is because players are forced to put money in the pot on hands they don’t play. Accept this loss. It is part of the game and you will likely lose money over the run in the blinds. So will everyone else. The other factor is that people hang on longer from the big blind when they shouldn’t.
One question you should frequently consider is, “Would I call with this hand if I weren’t in the blind, and the bettor had just limped in, rather than raising?” If you answer no, then why would you call a raise with it when that indicates an even stronger holding by your opponent?
Don’t get trapped in hand you shouldn’t be involved with just because you were on the blind. On the other hand, remember that you can play a little more loosely from the blind than from other positions.