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What are Poker Blinds?

Small Blind - Big Blind

by Jesse Knight
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Poker Blind
Blind – A blind wager used to seed the pot, usually placed on or to the left of the dealer button.


A blind is a forced bet that is placed before the cards are dealt. It is used to seed the pot in flop and draw games. Generally, flop and draw games will use a nominal dealer button to indicate last action after the flop or draw. This button is moved in a clockwise manner, one position to the left, before the start of each hand, in order to give each player equal time from each betting position. Most games will have two blinds, a small blind to the left of the button, and a big blind to the left of the small blind. Some games will have a third blind which is commonly placed on the button. Blinds are called “big” or “small” based upon their relative size and not upon what position they are posted from, although it is standard to post the big blind to the left of the small blind. Typically, the big blind will be a full sized bet of the lower betting limit, and a small blind will be a portion of the lower betting limit. For example, a $3/$6 Hold’em game might have a $3 big blind and a $1 small blind.

Every player is required to post their blinds when it is their turn to do so. If they do not, they will be given a missed blind button and will be dealt out. If this happens, the player must wait until it is their turn to take the big blind again, or post all owed blinds at once on the subsequent hand, if they do not wish to wait.

If a player takes their blind in turn, the amount posted will be credited towards a call or raise. This type of blind is called a “live blind.” If a player is making up owed blinds, only the amount of the big blind is live. The small blind (and any other blinds owed if more than two blinds are being used) is dead and therefore will not be credited towards a call or raise. This type of blind is called a “dead” blind. For example, a $3/$6 Hold’em game has a Big Blind of $3 and a small blind of $1. If both players have posted their blinds in turn, and the pot has been raised to $6, the big blind would owe $3 to call and the small blind would owe $5 to call. If a third player has made up his blinds by posting $4 ($3 big blind plus $1 dead small blind), he would have to call an additional $3 with $1 dead and remaining in the pot.

Usage: Live Blind, Dead Blind, Big Blind, Small Blind, Post Both Blinds, Blind On The Button

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