All About Poker Blind Bets

All About Poker Blinds

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What are poker blinds? Why are blinds important for aspiring poker players? 

Poker blinds are forced bets placed by punters in flop-style poker that push the game rounds forward. Like ante bets, blinds in poker are unavoidable, meaning you must place blind wagers if you want to participate in a round. In general, two main blind bets exist in poker – the Big Blind and the Small Blind.

Check out our article below to learn everything there is to know about blinds in poker online.

What Are Poker Blinds?

Poker blinds are obligatory bets in poker games. Not all poker variants feature them, but they’re quite widespread so it’s easier to find a table with poker blinds than one without them.

But how do poker blinds work? 

In all honesty, blinds in poker are easy to understand and use. The main thing to remember about them is that they are mandatory (and thus unavoidable). Players are required to have a stack to place the bets when their turn comes, otherwise, they will be forced to withdraw from the game.


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The blinds got their name from the fact that the players bet on the round without first seeing the cards. In other words, you go into it blind, with no knowledge of the possible poker hand you might have. Only two players wager blind bets per round, and both players are determined by their position at the table (the so-called blind positions).

Two blind bets in poker exist – the Small and Big Blinds. Let’s talk about each in more detail.

The Small Blind

The Small Blind Poker Bet

As you know, table positions in poker change every round. And as the two blind bets are tied to specific table positions, all players will eventually get a chance to place blind bets during the session as they switch positions.

The Small Blind – as well as the Big Blind – is a wager placed by players sitting to the left of the dealer button. The punter sitting right next to the dealer button on the left places a Small Blind bet, which is typically half the size of a minimum bet requirement for the table.

But we must clarify that the size of the Small Bet is not necessarily that – it depends on the table. Before you start wagering, please make sure to check what is the amount for both the Small Blind and the Big Blind.

The Big Blind

 

The Big Blind Poker Bet

The Big Blind is posted after the Small Blind by the player on the left of the Small Blind position. We must note that, during poker rounds, it is not uncommon to hear the dealer refer to players sitting in designated positions as Big/Small Blinds. Both the bets and the players can be referred to using the same name.

Again, as we said, neither player has seen the cards, which is why the bets are called blind. If you are playing a poker game of only two players (commonly known as a heads-up), the positioning will be a bit different. The player on the button is the Small Blind, and the other one is the Big Blind.

The size of the Big Blind can depend on a myriad of factors. However, the Big Blind is usually twice the size of the Small Blind.

How Blinds Work

Each round of poker highlights the table positions. The most important position is the dealer button position, based on which the Small and Big Blinds are determined.

The button dealer is the last player that acts in a round. The button, or dealer, is indicated by a round disk. Once the cards are dealt, the person following the Big Blind (the third person to the left of the button) is the first to act, with the button being the last one.

Should any player in the round call the Big Blind (which is higher than the Small one), the Big Blind player will then get an extra chance to raise. This occurrence is called the live blind. If it checks, the betting round comes to an end.


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Following the flop, turn, and river, the player sitting in the Small Blind position is the first one that gets to act.

Before we get to explaining the difference between poker blinds in cash games and tournaments, we must note another type of forced poker bet that you might encounter while playing poker online.

Ante bets are mandatory, just like the blinds. However, there’s one big difference between blinds and ante bets, and that’s that everyone has to pay the ante bet, not just the two players sitting left to the button.

Ante bets are made to ensure the pot, as they seed it and ensure there’s enough capital throughout the round.

Blinds in Cash Games & Blinds in Tournaments

In cash games, blinds in poker (almost) always stay the same. They serve the purpose of being ‘guarantees’ that the players will have a pot until the end of the session, but other than that, they do affect the game in any way and they stay relatively the same.

On the other hand, blinds in poker tournaments do go through changes. The biggest difference between poker blinds in poker tournaments and cash games is that blind bets in poker tournaments go up over time – they are gradually increased as the session progresses. Because of that, players must maintain a relatively good influx of chip stacks if they want to keep playing at the table.


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Moreover, some tournaments might even introduce ante bets at a later point in the tournament to add a bit more spice – and make it a bit more challenging for players to stay in the game.

Poker Blind Strategies

Poker Blind Strategies

Poker blinds are mandatory and so you cannot avoid them. However, there are ways to maximise your winning chances that do not require special training. Here are our favourite poker blind strategies that you can use the next time you play a poker variant with blind bets.

Use Small Blinds Strategically

Balance out the losses from small blinds by winning the pot money. It’s dead money, anyway! Be advised though, you will need a bigger stake than the other players. If you post a bet that is too small, other participants might find it appealing and then decide to call. Therefore, pay attention to the stake and be careful!

Don’t Fold Big Blinds

Another important strategy for blind bets in poker is to avoid folding on Big Blinds. If you want to win, you will have to fight, and the best way to do is to defend your Big Blind. However, be careful to not take it too far – not folding when you should clearly fold is a dangerous decision. Consult other poker strategies for optimal solutions.

Big Blind Player Watch

You know what you should do when it’s up to you to place the Big Blind, but what happens when it’s not your turn? Can you do anything to help win chances? Yes – you can pay attention to the Big Blind player at the moment. Players who are floating and 3-betting pose a threat to speculative hands. You should adjust your strategy to counteract the bets used by the Big Blind player!

Frequently Asked Questions About Blind Bets in Poker

  • What are poker blinds? 

Poker blinds are forced bets placed into the pot before the card dealing. There are two types of blinds – Big Blinds and Small Blinds.

  • Why are poker blinds called blinds?

The name ‘blind’ comes from the fact that the bets are paid before the cards are dealt. That means the players cannot see any card – they go into the bet blindly. Only after all the cards are dealt, the players at the table can call or raise the Big Blind to get a chance to stay in the game.

  • What are forced bets? 

Forced bets are mandatory bets that are used before each poker session. There are two types – blinds and ante bets. Both types of bets are required from the punters before they enter the round, and each player must pay them.

  • What is the difference between ante and blind?

The main difference is that the blinds are paid by two players, while ante bets are paid by everyone. In other words, ante bets apply to all, and blinds apply to 2 punters only.

  • What is the order of blinds in poker?

the first one that goes is the Small Blind and is then followed by the Big Blind. The players that want to participate in the round must call or raise the big blind. Moreover, the big blind player gets a chance to increase the stake at the end of the round.

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