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Poker Blinds

Poker Blinds are a key part of every Poker game. They are an integral part of many poker variations, including the most popular, Texas Hold'em and Omaha poker. The primary goal of placing poker blinds in the game is to stimulate action and ensure there is always something to play for in each hand.

So, what does Blind in Poker mean?

Poker Blinds are compulsory bets that you need to put in pots before any cards are dealt. There are typically two types of blinds- the big and small blind in Poker.

The Small blind is typically half the amount of the Big blind. For example, in a ₹1/₹2 No-Limit Texas Hold'em game, the small blind would be ₹1, and the big blind would be ₹2.

The blinds rotate around the table in clockwise fashion, ensuring that every player has a chance to be in the blind positions. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button is assigned the small blind, and the player to the left of the small blind is assigned the position of the big blind.

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Between Ante and Blinds in Poker: Similarities and Differences

An ante is a small compulsory bet that every player at the table must contribute before each hand is dealt. Antes are commonly used in tournaments and some cash games, especially in those with multiple rounds of betting like stud or mixed poker games. Ante is typically a fraction of the small blind or a set amount that is predetermined by the table or the tournament rules. They are introduced later in poker tournaments to increase action and incite players to play more hands.

Blinds in Poker are like Antes in the sense that they are both compulsory bets. However, only the two players seated to the immediate left of the dealer pay the blinds before the dealer deals the cards.

On the contrary, antes are small compulsory bets of fixed amounts that must be placed by every player in a hand in cash games and tournaments.

Blinds in Poker Tournaments

In tournaments, blinds play a crucial role in the structure and progression of the event. The blind levels increase at regular intervals in tournaments, say every five or ten minutes. The motive behind it is to gradually increase the forced bets and thereby, apply pressure on players to accumulate more chips or risk being blinded out.

Basics of Poker Blind Rules

Here are the important rules of Poker blinds followed in most variations of Poker Games.

  • Posting Blinds:
    The two players sitting to the left of the dealer position are required to post the blinds before the hand is dealt. The player seated immediately to the left of the dealer posts the small blind in Poker, and the player to their left, posts the big blind.
  • Blind Amounts:
    The size of the blinds is pre-decided for each game or tournament. Typically, the big blind amount is double the size of the small blind. For example, in a ₹1/₹2 game, the small blind would be ₹1, and the big blind would be ₹2.
  • Blind Rotation:
    The position of the blinds rotates one position clockwise around the table with each hand. This ensures that every player at the table takes turns to post the blinds.
  • Order of Action:
    After the immediate two players to the dealer’s left post their blinds, the remaining players at the table act in turn, starting from the player to the left of the big blind. The small blind and big blind have the option to call, raise, or fold when the action returns to them.
  • Blind Defenses:
    If there are no raises, the player seated in the big blind often has the option to check and see the flop for free. However, if there is a raise before the action reaches the big blind, they would have to either call the raise, re-raise or fold.
  • Blind Increases:
    In tournaments, the blind levels in poker increase at predetermined intervals. This ensures that the game progresses as the forced bets gradually escalates. This applies consistent pressure on players to play more hands and collect more chips.
  • Dead Button Rule:
    In some cases, if a player in the blinds is eliminated from the tournament or leaves the table, the dealer button may advance to the next player, skipping the vacant position. This is known as the 'dead button rule' and ensures that no player misses the blinds.

More About Big Blind & Small Blind in Poker

The Big Blind Poker and the Small blind are the stakes or bets added to the pot by the players who are at these two positions on the tables. Although it's not always the same, in most cases, the Big Blind Poker size is two times the size of small blind Poker. Generally, the size of the Poker blinds may differ in various tournaments, series or real money cash games and, may depend on specific game rules.

Poker Blind Limits

The specific value of Poker blinds is decided by the dealer or whosoever hosts the game. Big blind is mostly twice the small blind size, but this could vary depending on the series or game you play. In rare cases, the value for big blind and small blind may stay the same.

Blinds Limit in Tournaments

The Poker blinds in a tournament shoot up after specific time intervals that are pre-set before the game begins. The progression of the blinds forces players to retain their required chip stack to prevent getting knocked out from the tournament.

Blinds Limit in Cash Games

In cash games, the Poker Blind rules and limits are fixed. Their value remains the same and does not increase over time like in tournaments. When you play cash games online, the limits of big blind and small blind might differ depending on the cash table stakes you choose to play for.

How Do Blinds Work in Poker?

Blinds play a crucial role in all poker games and can have a significant impact in different stages of a poker game.

  • Starting the Betting:
    By requiring players to post blinds, there is already a pot to play for even before any cards are dealt. This encourages action amongst players and avoids everyone folding if there were no initial bets.
  • Ensuring Rotation:
    The position of the blinds rotates around the table with each hand, ensuring that each player gets their turn to post the blinds. This way, no one skips the forced bet at any point in the game.
  • Providing Incentive to Play Hands:
    Since players have already invested money in the pot through the blinds, they are more likely to play their hands rather than folding immediately. This helps maintain a certain level of action in the game.
  • Strategic Considerations:
    The size of the blinds affects the size of bets and raises during the game. Players need to consider the blind sizes when deciding whether to play a hand, call a bet, or raise. Blinds also create a sense of urgency, as players in the blind positions will need to act early in each betting round.

Stealing Blinds in Poker

  • Stealing the blinds in Poker is often possible in late position. When there are few players left to act, it is possible for the player in late position to raise the pre-flop and win the blinds uncontested.
  • The strategy of stealing the blinds in Poker proves effective as the player can win without having a strong hand.
  • It means there is also a scope to own a card worth calling the raise.
  • With this, you complete the action of stealing the blind in Poker games.
  • Players at the blinds will act first on call as they need to identify if they even have a mediocre hand to pay more.
  • There are multiple ways of stealing the blinds in Poker, such as bluffing, calling or raising with a weak hand to fool and defeat your opponents.

Blinds Strategy and Tips

Stealing blinds in poker refers to a strategy where you attempt to win the blinds (the forced bets made by the players sitting to the left of the dealer) without having a strong hand. It is a common strategy used in tournaments and cash games to increase your chip stack and maintain a profitable position.

Here are some tips for successfully stealing blinds in poker:

  1. Position is crucial: Stealing blinds is most effective when you are in a late position, such as the cutoff or the button. This allows you to act after most other players and gives you more information to make a decision.
  2. Read the table: Pay attention to the players in the poker blinds and their tendencies. If players are tight and fold often, stealing blinds becomes easier. However, if they are aggressive and defend their blinds frequently, you might need a stronger hand to attempt a steal.
  3. Select your hands carefully: Although you don't need a premium hand to steal blinds, it's important to choose hands that have some potential to improve post-flop. Suited connectors, suited aces, and small pairs are good candidates as they can flop strong hands or draw to powerful combinations.
  4. Consider your stack size: Your chip stack relative to the blinds is an important factor. If your stack is short, stealing blinds becomes more critical to avoid being blinded out. However, with a deeper stack, you have more room to maneuver and can be more selective with your stealing attempts.
  5. Size your bets appropriately: When attempting a blind steal, your bet size should be large enough to make it unprofitable for the players in the blinds to call with marginal hands. A common rule of thumb is to raise 2.5 to 3 times the big blind.
  6. Mix up your play: To avoid being predictable, it's essential to mix up your stealing strategy. Sometimes raise with strong hands, and other times raise with weaker hands. This makes it difficult for your opponents to put you on a specific range.
  7. Be aware of your table image: If you have been playing tight and folding many hands, your opponents are more likely to give you credit for a strong hand when you attempt a blinds steal. You can exploit this image by bluffing more frequently in stealing situations.
  8. Pay attention to the blinds' stack sizes: If the players in the blinds in poker games have short stacks, they are more likely to defend them aggressively since they have less chips to lose. Keep this in mind when you try and steal blinds.

That said, remember, stealing blinds in Poker should not be your primary focus in the game. It's just one component of a well-rounded game strategy. Adapt your approach based on the specific table dynamics and the tendencies of your opponents. It makes sense to always observe and adjust your strategy accordingly to maximize your chances of success.

Poker Blinds - FAQs

Q. What are blinds and antes in Poker?

Blinds are forced bets placed by players before any cards are dealt in a poker game. The two players to the left of the dealer post the small and big blinds respectively. Antes are small compulsory bets placed by all players at the table before each hand and are typically paid in tournaments.

Q. How are blinds determined in Poker?

A Blind in Poker is placed by the player to the dealer’s left in flop-style Poker games. You can also learn more about these concepts through free video poker tutorials at, where you can even earn with FREE games.

Q. What is the point of the small blind?

The Point of Small blind Poker is that at least one player should stake a minimum amount of chips that motivates players to participate further in the hand.

Q. Why are there two blinds in Poker?

There exists two type of blinds in Poker games, the Big Blind and the Small blind. These are initial amount of bets that are placed in the pot before any cards are dealt to players. They blinds help stimulate action and prevent players from simply folding every hand without consequence.

Q. How do blinds increase in Poker?

Blinds in Poker rise in an even but consistent range of 25 to 30% every few hands in a poker game. It is crucial for players to save their chip stack by playing more hands and winning more chips in order to avoid being knocked out. If a player avoids playing hands to save their chips, he or she will eventually blind out.

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