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Understanding the Practice of the Big Blind in Poker

Aug 29, 2008
In poker games such as Texas Hold Em and Omaha, the players seated to the left of the dealer are the ones that pay the blinds at the start of each round. There are two blinds a big one and a small one. The player next to the dealer pays the small blind and the next player pays the big blind. The amount of each blind is set at the start of the game and increases every 15 minutes or in the case of a deep stack tournament, every 30 minutes. The small blind is equal to half of the minimum bet and the large blind is the full amount of the minimum bet.

Blinds are forced bets that the players have to make in order to receive their first cards from the dealer. The main reason for this is to ensure that there is money in each pot for every round just in case all the players fold. Even when there is a dealer that does not play and only deals the cards, there is a button used to designate which player would be the dealer and so the players who pay the blinds change with each deal. The button rotates around the table and the players seated to the immediate left pay the blinds. This means that the person who pays the large blind in the first round will pay the small blind in the second round.

In a tournament there is an additional reason for the use of blinds. They help determine how long the game will last. Before the tournament starts, the organizer will set the amount of the bets and the players must agree to this structure. This includes setting the time frame between blind increases and by how much the blinds will increase each time. The typical increase is 25% or 50% more than the blind paid in the previous round. Players have more pressure on them as the blinds increase because they need to have larger stacks of chips in order to pay the blind when their turn comes in order to stay in the game. For example, if the small blind is 5000 chips and the larger one is 10,000 chips, if you only have 15,000 chips in total, it will be difficult for you to stay in the game.

Most poker tournaments begin with blinds of 50 and 100. Eventually through the increases, they do bring the game to an end as players are gradually eliminated as their stack of chips decreases and as they lose rounds. The final two players left in a game are required to pay the blinds before the dealer deals them any cards. This is where the players are forced to pay out some of their chips even when they know that they do not have good cards, but there is always a chance of winning since the competition is much less. The ultimate goal of all players is to reach this stage of the tournament. Along the way as the blinds increase, you will be able to figure out how aggressively you need to play in order to be successful.
About the Author
For more information on the Big Blind,Straight Flush and Pot Limit Omaha visit http://www.PokerTips.org
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