Poker Blinds

Poker is an exciting skill-based game that continues to captivate players with its blend of strategy, psychology, and the potential for substantial winnings. Poker tournaments and cash games draw players from all over the world, and professional players can make a living entirely on their love of the game. The game’s popularity has also been boosted by online poker platforms. If you want to take a shot at playing poker, you need to understand the basic aspects of the game. ‘Poker Blinds’ is one such aspect which is very essential in a game.


What are blinds in Poker?

Blinds are nothing but compulsory bets before any cards are dealt. The fundamental goal of a blind in poker is to give every player something to look forward to. Since there is already something in the pot, the participants are driven to continue playing the game.

While one objective of poker blinds is to increase the size of pot and motivate players to continue, they also provide an additional purpose in poker tournaments. This is done to impose a time limit on how long the event can last. This is accomplished by setting a poker blinds structure before the game begins.

Blind bets are called so because they are placed without seeing the cards and literally being blind. There are two types of blinds in every game of poker. One is the big blind and the other is the small blind.

Small blind

Small blind is a forced bet posted by the player who is to the immediate left of the dealer or dealer button. The value of a small blind is half the size of the big blind.

Big Blind

Big blind in poker is placed by the player who is positioned to the left of the small blind. These bets are twice the size of small blind. For example in a Rs.2/4 no limit Texas Holdem, the size of the small blind will be Rs.2, and the big blind would be Rs.4.

Difference between Blind and Ante

Ante is a type of blind where players need to put a small amount before the cards are dealt. Unlike the blinds, all players at the table must pay the ante in order to participate in the game. Usually poker games that do not have the flop like 7 card stud and razz use antes instead of blinds.

Poker Blind Rules

Below are the most important rules of poker blinds that need to be followed in every game.

  • With each hand, the position of the blinds rotate in clockwise direction. This way all players get to place their blinds.
  • After the immediate two players to the dealer’s left add the small and big blind, the remaining players at the table act. When the turn comes for small and big blinds they can either call, raise or fold.
  • If any player in the blinds position gets eliminated or leaves the table, the dealer button moves to the next player. This is called the “dead button rule” and it ensures no players miss their blinds.
  • In the case of blinds in tournaments, the bet value increases after a specific interval. This ensures that every player retains their required chip to avoid getting knocked out.

What happens if you miss the blinds?

If you are playing online poker, there are chances that you may miss your turn to post the blind. This can happen when you get a call in the middle of a poker game or when someone knocks at your door. Players who miss their blinds won’t get cards until the dealer button has passed.

In this scenario, the players would have to post the big and small blind to get the cards. Only the big blind is considered valid while the small blind is called “dead bet” and will not count towards calling or raising by other players.

If any player has missed the small blind, they will be required to post the ‘dead’ small blind upon rejoining the game.

Blind rules in case of raised and unraised pot

If there is no raise on the table till the chance of the player who posted the small blind, the player can pay the small blind as the full bet for that round and complete his blind. If the player doesn’t wish to pay the small blind, they will most likely have to fold. Alternatively the player in the small blind position can choose to raise by paying the small blind as well as adding another full bet for that particular round.

In case there is a raise till the action reaches the small blind, the player needs to finish his blind equivalent to the full amount of the raise to continue playing.

The player who made the big blind is obviously the last player to finish the first round. If there is no raise before his turn, he can either check (since there is no raised bet prior to that player for that round) or increase the stake himself.

If there is a raise before the action reaches the big blind, the player may not check and instead choose to call the raise by matching the initial bet or even reraise.

If the other players fold before flop (first round of betting), including the small blind, the big blind can get both the blind bet and the small blind bet.

Stealing Blinds

The term stealing in poker means making a raise before the flop with the objective of winning the blinds and antes by forcing both players in the blinds to fold. There are numerous ways of stealing such as bluffing, calling or raising with a weak hand inorder to fool your opponents.

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