When you play poker for the first time it is normal that many doubts and questions arise. Do not be overwhelmed, you must keep in mind that like any card or board game must follow some rules to work. Once you learn them, the games will be a piece of cake and you will be able to become a poker expert. Likewise, you must take into account that poker has several game modalities and variants, such as Texas Holdem, Omaha, Five-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud, Razz... Each modality has a variation in the rules, which are learned by playing. However, the general operation and objective remains the same in all cases.
In this article we are going to explain what is a blind in poker, how they are structured and other basic concepts you should know about this general rule of the most popular card game in the world. Keep reading this article for more information.
As we mentioned in the introduction, poker blinds vary depending on the poker modality and limit being played -just as it happens with brings and posts, which we will explain later in a specific post for each of them-. To talk about what are blinds in poker and answer this question it is essential to know another essential concept, the antes.
The antes consist of small portions of chips or money that are put into play by each player at the moment before the cards are dealt. It is a rule that gives more dynamism to poker thanks to which there is always money at stake. Having clarified this concept, we can proceed to explain what is a blind in poker. A blind in poker is very similar to a antes, the difference is that this rule does not apply to all players -although throughout the game everyone ends up being a participant-. The blind in poker corresponds to a portion of chips or money that is posted by the player to the left of the button - or in other words, the dealer. These blinds are usually played without antes, which allows the player to fold before the turn begins without having to put in money.
We have just seen what are the blinds in poker, now, you should keep in mind that we can distinguish two types of blinds in poker. Understanding how each of them works will help you to know what blinds mean in poker much better. Let's take a closer look:
Small blind: The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer. In no-limit games, the small blind corresponds to half the minimum bet - i.e. the lower of the two limits. For example, in a game with a limit of 5€/10€ the small blind will be 2.5€.
Big blind: The big blind has some differences with respect to the previous one. This blind is played by the player to the left of the player who plays the small blind. That is, two positions to the left of the button. The value of the Big Blind is always twice the value of the Small Blind.
The blinds are not used in all poker modalities and their variants, there are some that opt for antes and bring-ins, and others that do not force to play any amount. In general, blinds in poker are played in Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
To understand what the blind in poker is - or what blinds in poker means - it is important to talk about the structure of the blinds as well. The structure of the blinds in poker has to do with the type of game to be played -or rather, with the strategy to be implemented by each player-. When deciding the blind structure you have to take into account the type of game you are going to play - if you want it fast or slow, giving the opportunity to everyone to demonstrate their tactics and strategies.
You should keep in mind that the faster you increase the amount of the blind, the more fun is implicitly added to the table. For example, if the blind becomes an important part of the chips you have, this will be the only playing option you will have -even if your cards are not worth playing. However, if the blind is small, it will be more in line with the amount of chips that all players have and, therefore, each player will have the possibility to demonstrate his best tactics and strategies.
The structure of the blind in poker, then, can be adapted depending on the cards you receive, skipping the "logical increase of the blind".
The blinds in poker go up according to the two limits (minimum and maximum). For example, if the small blind is 10 and the big blind is 100, each player should have 1,000 starting chips. The blinds can be raised by doubling the limits proportionally. For example, 20/200 at the time of play.
To calculate the number of blinds you have on the table all you have to do is to divide the amount of chips you have -or the money-, by the amount of chips placed by the player in the big blind. Many times, when talking about big blinds in poker, players refer to them only as "blinds". We can also find references to them as "bb", from the abbreviation of "big blind".
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