Forced Bet

Blinds, Antes and Bring-Ins

by Jesse Knight


Forced Bet
Forced Bet – A bet that is required by rule, and must be made.

Generally, when a player acts on their hand, they will have several options available to them, including check, bet , call, raise, and fold. A player may choose to bet, but in most cases, the bet is optional. However, there are certain situations which arise where, by rule, a player may not have the option to check or to throw his hand away. When a player faces such a situation, and must bet, it is called a “forced bet,” or a “forced wager.”

Forced bets usually have the purpose of seeding or establishing a pot near the start of the hand. This can be necessary to jumpstart the action. Without some method of seeding the pot at the start of the hand, there would be little incentive for anyone without a super premium hand to enter the pot, because there would be no money in it. Once the pot is seeded, it becomes worth it for players with somewhat weaker hands to play, because they now have pot odds to continue on in the hand.

Forced bets include blinds, antes, and bring ins. Blinds are used in flop games and draw games. Antes and bring ins are used in stud games. Antes are also used in addition to blinds in the later stages of tournament play.

Blinds are circulating forced wagers that must be posted before the start of the deal. They are required of players who sit in certain positions relative to the dealer button. Since the dealer button rotates one position to the left every hand, the blind obligation also shifts before the start of every hand. This insures that everybody pays the same amount of blinds each time the dealer button completes an orbit around the table. Blinds are generally posted to the left of the dealer button and are sometimes also posted on the dealer button. The rules for a specific game can vary and may also dictate that they be posted from other positions as well, but this is rare.

Antes are similar to blinds, in that they are forced wagers that are designed to seed the pot, and they must be posted before the start of the deal. They are used in stud games, where there are typically no blinds and no dealer button used (although you may see an ante button at certain stages of a stud tournament). Antes are seed money posted every hand by every player, as opposed to blinds, which are seed money posted once or twice a round. When antes are introduced into a tournament which also has blinds in play, players will be forced to post both ante and blinds, as tournament rules dictate.

A “bring in” bet is a forced bet in a stud game which takes place on third street, after the initial deal. After the dealer has collected the antes, he deals a three card starting hand to each player. This typically consists of two cards delivered face down followed by a third card which is delivered face up. In most stud games, including Seven Card Stud and Razz, the player with the worst up card is required to bring it in. This means that since Seven Card Stud is a high only game, the player with the lowest ranked up card is the bring in. And since Razz is a lowball Stud game, the player with the highest ranked up card is the bring in. In both cases, the bring in is required, making it a forced bet. In both cases, the bring-in may have the option to bet differing amounts, but because the bring in is a forced bet, a wager must be made. In both cases, the bring in may not muck their hand without wagering , and the game cannot continue until the conditions of the bring in are satisfied.

Usage: Forced Bring In Bet, Forced Bet

Previous Poker Term: Fold Equity
Next Poker Term: Free Card



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