Blinds In Poker Texas Holdem

Learn about the big and small blinds in poker In cash games, stealing blinds should be an important part of your strategy. In this section we’ll talk more about how to steal blinds – and what to do if someone’s stealing them from you.

Texas holdem blind schedule

Nothing seems to confuse new Texas hold 'em players more than the blinds. Let's sort it out.

I used to play stud and draw poker with neighbors. I don't still play, but like to read about poker strategy. Would you please explain how the big blind and little blind work in hold 'em? I'm sure many of us who read LuckyDog have no idea. — Dale H., Kankakee, Ill.

  1. Texas Hold’em is a Poker game in which each player receives two cards as their initial hand. Each player will use their two hole cards along with the five community cards to form the best five-card Poker hand. Blind and Betting Structure.
  2. 7+ related questions answered; A big blind is a mandatory bet used in poker variations that typically don't have antes, such as Texas Hold 'Em. It is paid by the player two seats to the left of the dealer or the dealer button. The player one seat to the left of the button pays a small blind that is usually half the big blind's size.

Blinds Poker Texas Hold'em

Well, Dale, since I had the same question this month from John, a co-worker of mine in Moline, Ill., it's a good time to explain the blinds in hold 'em.

Texas Holdem Blind Schedule

Think of the blinds as antes used to stimulate betting and initiate play. There's one key difference: Unlike stud and draw poker, in which every player must pay the same pre-determined ante before each deal, in hold 'em only the first two players to the left of the dealer position have to post a blind.

The dealer for each hand is designated by a round disk called a button. Except for the first betting round, the player with the dealer button gets to act last throughout the hand. On the first betting round, the two players in the blinds act after the button, then are first to act on remaining betting rounds.

The button moves clockwise one position for each new hand. Real cash games app. That rotates the advantage of last action and assures that for every circuit of the button around the table, each player will pay the two blinds once. The little blind usually is half the amount of the big blind.

Here's an example:

You're in seat five of a nine-handed $4-$8 limit hold 'em cash game and the dealer button reaches seat three. That means you are in the big blind position and must put $4 in front of you before the cards are dealt. The player to your right in seat four must post the $2 small blind.

Two down cards are then dealt to each player, starting with the small blind. On the first betting round, action starts with the player to your left in seat six, a position called 'under the gun,' meaning first to act.

From the big blind, you are last to act before the flop. If no one has raised (to $8 in this case) when the action gets back around to you, you have two options — you can check, since you're already in for the $4 bet, or you can raise to $8. Don't fold. Even a lousy 7-2 offsuit can turn into quads on a perfect flop!

If someone raises before the action gets back to you pre-flop, you have three options: fold and forfeit your $4; call the additional $4, or re-raise by betting $8 more for a total of $12.

After the flop, the betting rotation changes. The player in the small blind on your right acts first for the rest of the hand, then you. If he has folded, you're first to act each round until the hand ends.

On the next hand, the button moves to seat four. Now you're in the small blind position and must post $2 before the deal. To stay in the hand, you must match the bet amount when it's your turn ($2 more if no one raises). Or you can fold, losing your $2 small blind.

On the next hand, you get the dealer button and can see your starting hands for free until it's time to post the blinds again.

We'll tackle playing strategies from the blind positions in a future column, Dale and John, but for now here are some other things to know:

Blinds In Poker Texas Hold'em

— Some card rooms play hold 'em with a 'dead' button. That means the big blind is posted by the seated player due for it, and the small blind and button are positioned accordingly, whether or not players actually are seated there to receive a hand. This gives last-action advantage to a player on consecutive hands.

— If you miss paying one or both blinds, you must post the appropriate amount when you return or sit out until the big blind position advances to you. If you post mid-circuit, you still must pay the blinds when they reach you a few hands later in that round.

Texas Holdem Small Blind

— When joining a game in progress, some card rooms require that you post the big blind amount if you want to be dealt in right away. You can choose to sit out until the big blind position reaches you normally, which is a good option because you can watch a few hands risk-free and get a feel for the table's action.

— In heads-up play using two blinds, the small blind is on the button. That player acts first before the flop and last on each subsequent betting round.

E-mail your poker questions and comments to [email protected] for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit or

When you are in the casino at the beginning of a poker game, and you have lots of chips, the blinds are something you hardly notice. Towards the end of a poker night, especially if things aren’t going so well and your chip pile is lower than you’d like it to be, or the blind bets are increasing in size, then the blind can really eat into your stack.
Some poker games have antes – forced bets. But Texas Holdem doesn’t, meaning you can fold your cards without betting. Texas Holdem poker does have something called blinds though. They are another type of forced bet, but this time before you have been dealt your cards. Like antes, they exist so that there is a cost to playing, so the poker games don’t go on and on with players just waiting to be dealt a great hand. Paul Phua thinks that the blind keeps the momentum up, and ensures the game of poker finishes within a reasonable time frame – especially since the blinds often increase in value during a game of Texas Holdem to speed things up even further.

There are mainly two blinds in Texas Holdem – the big and small blind, but there can sometimes be three players who have to make them.

The name comes from the fact that players are being asked to bet without seeing their hands. They are betting blind, with no knowledge of the hand’s worth. So in the casino, whether you hold a 2 and a 3 unsuited, or a pair of aces – before you see your hand it’s all the same.
Paul Phua says the blind also marks potential poker strategy. Depending on your position around the poker table in a casino, or a social poker night where the dealer changes as the “button” moves from player to player, you will have to give certain blinds. Being in the small blind spot on a poker table is a disadvantage because you will be the first to act in every round after the flop. But Paul Phua’s poker tip is to remember never feel committed to a pot simply because you have paid your blind, especially in Texas Holdem, and not be afraid to enter a pot if you have a strong enough hand.