Poker blinds are basically bets that are placed into the pot before any cards are dealt in a poker game. These blinds help drive the game forward. Every player needs to maintain a stack to place these bets when their turn comes. If they don’t, they need to leave the game. There is no need whatsoever for these blinds to be confusing, so we will explain as much as possible. So, when you sit at the poker table, you will know exactly how they work.
Poker blinds are paid each hand by the players who are occupying the “small blind” and “big blind” seats at the table. Since the positions at the table change after every hand, each player will pay both the “big blind” and “small blind” once orbit.
Small Blinds and Big Blinds
The “small blind” and “big blind” refer to the amount a player occupying these two seats at the table must place into the pot before any cards are dealt. A “big blind” is usually the same amount as the table’s minimum bet, while the “small blind” is half the size of that bet. Sure, there can be a scenario where both blinds are the same amount, however, that rarely happens. Blinds are similar to Ante bet, except Antes are paid by every player at the table, while the blinds are only paid by the players in those positions.
So, how are these blinds determined in a poker game? The blinds are determined by the host of the game. As we have mentioned, in most cases, the “big blind” is twice the size of the “small blind”, however, the host has the power to change this structure.
Antes and Blinds in Poker Tournaments
Blinds and Antes work in the same way as cash games aside from one key difference. The blinds in poker tournaments will increase after set intervals of time. That means one must maintain an ever-increasing chip stack in order to avoid being knocked out. Antes are often introduced during the late stages of tournaments. They are paid by every player at the table.
Blinds in Cash Games
When it comes to cash games, blinds usually stay the same. It is only in tournaments that the blinds increase after set intervals of time. While playing poker at an online casino, or at a land-based casino, you can change tables if you wish to play for higher or lower blind amounts. Of course, if every player in the game agrees, there is no reason for the blinds amount to chance.
Poker Blinds Strategies
How players play their blinds depends on how much they will win. There are certain strategies players can use in order to gain the upper hand. Poker is definitely one of those games where strategies can go a long way. Here are some of them for poker blinds.
Take More from Small Blinds
Technically, there is dead money in the pot which you can win if you play your strategy right. If you manage to win money from the pot, you can balance out the losses you made from the small blinds. When you focus on stealing from the small blind, it would be best to use a larger bet to help fight off the opposing player. If your bet is too small, the big blind has an incentive to call. Otherwise, you are giving them a wide opening range.
Defend Your Big Blind
Naturally, the big blinds will make some players fold automatically due to the price of the bet. The best strategy is not to fold, but rather fight for the pot. However, though, folding is sometimes a better option in order not to burn yourself out. You should always know when to defend and when to fold. The price you get on a call means you can defend a wide range of hands from the blind. These hands have less equity than you would need to keep if you were calling from a different position.
Keep an Eye on the Big Blind Player
It would be a good idea to always keep a close eye on the player in the big blind position. If you have a good, aggressive player in this seat, you might need to adjust your strategy. For example, if they are constantly floating and 3-betting, you will have a hard time finding marginal or speculative hands. Watch out for such tendencies, and if you see the need to change your strategy to counteract their bets, do it. An aggressive player defending by 3-betting or 4-betting means you should narrow your ranges. However, you should widen them to win the pot if the big blind player is being tight.
Poker blinds might seem a bit complicated until you get used to them. Basically, all you have to do is remember to place the appropriate chip denomination in the pot when you are in either the big blind or small blind position.
As we have mentioned, these blinds drive the game forward, and poker would easily become a boring game with every player at the table waiting for strong holdings. Although mandatory bets may not sound like the ideal play, without them, poker would indeed be a very dull game.