Poker Betting - What is a Blind?

Blinds are forced poker bets that are used in poker games such as Texam Hold'em and Omaha Hold'em. Blinds ensure that each round is played.

Understand Poker Betting

New poker players need to understand how poker betting works before beginning play. Without doing so, there could cause much confusion caused once a game has already begun. Players should either watch a number of poker games as a spectator, asking questions from more experienced poker players, or reading about the betting in order to understand all the options, and obligatory bets connected with the game. One of the best ways to learn about poker betting is to play free online poker games.

Blinds are Forced Bets

Blinds are forced bets that players are obliged to make when playing certain versions of poker, such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha Hold'em poker games. Blinds are bets that are played by certain players before they have seen the cards that they will be dealt.

Why is a Blind Bet Necessary?

The reason it is necessary to have blind bets in the game is because there needs to be some money in the pot before the game begins. Players are allowed to pass their turns, and fold their hands in Texas Hold'em and in Omaha Hold'em, which could mean that all the players will pass without playing the game if they are not pleased with their cards. Adding in the blind bet means that it is not possible for games to go many rounds without play, while players pass continually until they feel they have winning hands.

Who Bets the Blind?

The blind bets are put into the pot by players who sit on the left hand side of the dealer. Usually there are two blinds that are bet by the two players on the left of the dealer. Some games will only have one blind bet, while others can have three blind bets.

The Big Blind and the Small Blind

The player sitting immediately on the left of the dealer posts the small blind, while the player sitting to the left of that player posts the big blind. The big blind bet is usually an amount that equal to the minimum bet allowed for the game. The small blind bet is usually half of what the big blind is. However, in cases where it is difficult to halve the number exactly, the small blind is usually rounded down to the nearest possible bet. For example, the player betting the big blind bets $5, leaving the player betting the small blind to bet $2.50, however since many casinos do not use very many $0.50 chips, the number is amount is rounded down to $2.

Tournaments and Blinds

Blinds serve more than one purpose in tournaments. Apart from ensuring that the pot has some money in it, as explained above, they are also used to help control the length of the tournament. Either the player, or the organizers of a tournament, will set and agree to a blinds structure. In a tournament, the blinds go up by around 25% to 50% each round. This ensures that only players who have increased their number of chips, or stacks, are able to stay in the game.