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Poker is one of the oldest and most famous casino games to ever exist. Ever since its first inception in the 19th century, it paved the way for several variations but the one that gained the most fame is Texas Hold 'em poker. It became one of the most well-known games because of its fun and exciting mechanics and is featured in events such as the World Series of Poker.
One of the things that make Texas Hold 'em appealing is its use of blinds. Without blinds, poker won’t be the same and will lack the thrill that this classic table game is known for. If you’re curious to learn more about them, keep on reading to find out more!
Blinds are forced bets placed on the table before the round starts. It’s responsible for prompting action and brings excitement to the game because it gives players something to look forward to when they eventually win the round. This also prevents the players from folding throughout the game until they receive a combination that can ensure them to win the round.
By contributing to blinds, it forces players to place money on the pot before they can even see their cards which is why it’s called blind. The number of blinds per game may vary depending on the game type. For example, it can be a consistent amount throughout the game such as $2, $5, $10, etc., but when it comes to a tournament, the blind will continually increase throughout the game.
Regardless of which rules your table follows, a constant factor is that there are always two blinds per game, both of which are identified through the dealer button and the sitting arrangement. These are the following:
The small blind is positioned at the left side of where the dealer button is and at the right of the big blind. It’s abbreviated as ‘SB’ and its value is normally half of what the big blind is.
On the other hand, the big blind is placed at the left side of the small blind. It’s abbreviated as ‘BB’ and its value should be double the amount of the small blind.
For you to properly play a round of Texas Hold 'em poker, you need to know the different rules surrounding blinds. By familiarising yourself with these guidelines, you can use them to your advantage as well as avoid making mistakes in the table.
Here are some of the most important rules of blinds in poker:
One of the most important rules that you need to know before playing poker is knowing the dealer button. At the start of each round, one player will be assigned as a dealer and to signify this, they are given the dealer button. Every player around the table should have an opportunity to get this role.
The button will keep moving from one player to the next and everyone at the table will have the opportunity to be a dealer. Additionally, the small and big blinds will also adjust accordingly once the dealer button moves on to the next player.
If you’re joining an ongoing game, you can either wait for the big blind to land on you or you can equal the amount of the big blind. Going for the latter means that you’ll automatically be dealt a hand and join the game.
However, there are some rules such as in lowball where the choices given to a new player are different. With lowball, players can only choose between waiting for the big blind to land on them or double its current amount.
Moreover, a person who enters and sits on a temporarily available seat will already be considered as a new player and should wait for the big blind to join the game or equal its amount.
Lastly, a new player doesn’t have to post a blind if the dealer button hasn’t completed a revolution around the poker table.
When a player misses one or all of the blinds, they have a choice to either wait for the big blind or post all of the amounts that they missed in one go. On the other hand, if the player opts for the latter, the amount that’s equal to the minimum opening bet will be live.
The remainder will be placed at the centre of the pot by the dealer which means that it’s not a part of the player’s bet. Additionally, when the player gets their turn, the option to raise is on the table.
A player can freely change seats as long as a blind hasn’t passed that specific spot yet. When this happens, no penalty will be charged to the player.
One of the strategies that players use in Texas Hold 'em poker to win huge prizes is to steal the blind that has been collected in the game.
Contrary to what it’s called, this action isn’t exactly stealing as it’s more of an open raise from either the small blind, cut-off or the button if they’ve folded to you. The reason why some people call it stealing is that they feel like they own the blinds that are at stake when in reality, it’s up for grabs for anyone at the table.
It’s one of the most satisfying ways to win but it can also be hard to achieve as the opportunity isn’t always available. To successfully steal the blinds, you need to post a raise which will cause the other players to fold during the first betting round, also known as the pre-flop.
With this strategy, you’re not necessarily raising the bet because you have a good hand value but because you have the intention to steal the blind.
Of course, having the choice to steal the blind also means that it’s your responsibility to defend it from other players. The best way you can do this is by calling a raise from the pre-flop round whether it be from the small or the big blind. This is effective because you’re not letting yourself get run over by the raise made by the other person.
To further illustrate this, here’s an example:
You’re the big blind in a $2/$4 game and the other players have folded except the dealer who raised the bet to $9. Even if you don’t have the best hand, you should still call because it will give you better odds than 2.5/1.
Alternatively, you can also make reads on your opponent based on their raising frequency and their behaviour during the post-flop round. This way you can make wise decisions on when you need to defend or surrender your blinds.
As was mentioned earlier, the position of the dealer button revolves around the table and the small and big blinds are adjusted respectively. Throughout the game, each position in the table will provide different advantages. Keep on reading to find out more:
Also known as the buck, the dealer button is where the game will always begin. This spot is determined by using a dealer button and it signifies that it’s where the cards are dealt. Players consider this as the best spot in Texas Hold 'em because they’re one of the last positions (LP). This means that they can act after every other player on the table has made their decisions.
Seated at the left of the dealer button are the Blinds. At the immediate left of the dealer button, you’ll find the small blind while its counterpart is then seated at the left side.
Positioned at the left of the big blind is the Under the Gun position. Players who are seated at this spot will feel pressure because they’re the first ones to act before the flop round. Moreover, they won’t be able to strategize much which is why players don’t play most of their hands from this early position.
Referred to as the second-best position in the Texas Hold 'em poker, the Cut off is positioned at the immediate right of the dealer button. The reason why people love this spot is that it’s the second to the last position and allows them to make moves such as bluff to make their opponents think that they have a good hand.
The Hijack is one of the most exciting spots to be in at the poker table. It’s considered an excellent position because players seated here can steal the blinds before the ones at the early prepositions get the chance to do so, hence the name, Hijack.
At first, blinds can be confusing because they’re on top of the other things that you need to worry about in the game. To help you steal and defend blinds, here are some strategies and tips that you can incorporate into your game:
While playing, make sure to pay attention to your opponent’s actions and even their tiniest mannerisms. You can only do this once you’ve spent an ample amount of time with them but it will be worth it.
By knowing the ‘tells’ and raising the frequency of your opponents, you can essentially predict their next move which can help you determine whether they’re going to try and steal the blinds or not.
A huge part of playing poker involves you making bluffs. All good poker players have a great poker face and they know how to throw off their opponents by bluffing to let them think that you have a good hand.
By practising this skill regularly, you can increase your chances of stealing the blind because other players will fold after your raise even though you don’t have a good hand.
A rule that you should remember when trying to steal blinds in Texas Hold 'em is that the fewer opponents there are left, the easier it will be to take home the blinds. When you only have 1 player to get through, your chances of stealing the blinds will be higher.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of poker and its use of blinds, it’s time to try your hand at the real thing! From the different Texas Hold 'em blind rules to how to steal and defend them, these things will come in handy when you join a table in one of our poker titles here at Livecasino.io.
Use these Texas Hold 'em poker strategy guides and be the best player out there! Who knows, maybe these tips will be the key to you taking home the biggest prizes of them all. What are you waiting for? Deposit into your account now and start playing Texas Hold 'em poker today!
Words by: Jericho P.
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