• August 3, 2021

Tips For Playing Out Of The Blinds

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A blind is considered a forced bet preflop (before you get your cards). It is called a “blind” because you don’t have a choice whether you want to put your money in before you see your cards. The reason holdem has this is so that there will be action, or game play. If there wasn’t a forced bet, most likely everyone would just wait for pocket Aces all day.
Originally the idea was the game would center around battling for the blind money. Now days, in low limit holdem especially, way more money is in the pot so that feature is kind of lost — the blinds still serve their original purpose as the limits get higher. Another form of forced betting to initiate action is the ante structure. Blinds are usually more popular in today’s structured limit holdem games (such as $2/4 or $3/6 holdem) played online or in casinos then antes though.
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In this structure there are usually two blinds: the big and the small blind. These are placed directly to the left of the dealer button. So it would go dealer button, small blind, then big blind. How much is in each blind depends on the limit. For example if you are playing a $2/4 game, the blinds would be $2 for the big blind and $1 for the small blind. The big blind is always the amount of the bet size as is on the flop bet. So in a $3/6 game the blinds would be $3 for the big and then either 1 or 2 bucks for the small. How much money is in the blinds is supposed to dictate how loose the game is but like I mentioned above that usually isn’t the case in low limit games because so many people are in anyway.
You really began to notice the change in games when you go from a $10/20 to a $15/30. In the $10/20 game the blinds are $10 big and $5 small. When you go to the $15/30 the blinds are $15 and $10. Notice that now you have two people almost or fully in the pot already with one bet. That definitely changes the dynamics and I’ll talk more about that below. The blinds in poker are also fixed throughout the hand. The blinds change after each hand as the dealer button does. So that means if you were small blind last hand you’ll be the dealer button this hand (best position). It goes clockwise, just as the betting order does.
I mentioned the most common blind structure above (two blinds), but there is one more that deserves attention. It is when you have one big blind and small blind plus another small blind on the dealer button. That definitely encourages loose games.
It is very easy to lose money playing from the blinds in any limit of texas holdem (low limit or high limit). This is where the hardest decisions are made. Let’s say you are dealt a marginal hand in middle position that you would normally just call with. Someone raises in front of you. It is pretty easy to let that one go and stay out of trouble. It gets complicated though when you are in the big blind and there are already some people in and someone raises.
Now you are getting great odds to call and see if you can catch up but the problem is that you can often get sucked in and pay some guys good hand off. That’s how you lose in the long run in holdem, not by getting bad beated but by paying off better hands. So playing out of the blinds is a double edged sword.
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Steve Carr

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