Poker is a card game in which bets are placed, and they are responsible for adding a sense of competition to the process and increasing the will to win. Poker has its own set of rules and its own terminology. Today, let’s deal with one of the bet types called the blind and discuss its importance and definition of “stealing the blind”.
So, the blind is a mandatory bet that a player must make before the cards are dealt from the very first tournament. This is necessary to create the game bank for each individual distribution of cards. Almost every existing poker variant has this bet – Omaha and Texas Hold ’em, Draw Poker, Lowball and Badugi.
Blinds can be small or big. The small blind must be made by the player who sits to the left of the button – this is the person who has the dealer’s chip. The size of the small blind depends on the size of the bet set for this distribution and is half of it. This means that blind = bet divided by 2. If the initial bet is, for example, $100, then the small blind is 50.
The second blind must be posted by the second player to the left of the button. In most cases, the size of the big blind equals the original bet, and if it were one hundred dollars, the big blind would be one hundred dollars as well.
This mandatory bet must be made by two players who sit to the dealer’s left at the table. And considering the fact that the button’s position is passed to the next participant, going clockwise, with each distribution of cards, the blinds will be posted by each player at the table.
In online poker, there is such a thing as “wait for the big blind” or “post the big blind”. This is quite a common occurrence. When a new player wants to join the table, they can place a blind bet or wait for the big blind’s turn and join the game.
The size of the poker blinds changes throughout the game. They depend on the initial bet size set for a particular hand. As we said above, the small blind is half of the bet, and the big blind, in most cases, is equal to the bet amount.
In addition, the value of the blinds constantly grows; for example, in online tournaments, this happens every ten minutes. In an offline game, because the card distribution process takes longer, it happens once an hour.
Of course, blinds cannot be stolen literally. This is what a situation when a thief player makes a raise is called. When they raise, showing confidence in their cards or simply bluffing, expecting the next players to fold so the player will get the blinds without any effort. The player who steals can also get a significant advantage in terms of initiative and position, even if one of the blinds makes a call.
It is believed that stealing the blinds is mostly performed by the player in a button or cutoff position (cutoff is the position of the player to the right of the dealer on a poker table). It is most advantageous for the stealer to make such thefts when the stakes and blinds are extremely high, especially towards the end of games at a long table. It is passive players who are usually targeted. There are statistics: at the tables with many participants, players steal the blinds about 25 percent of the time, but at the tables, with a small number of players, this figure is around 35 percent.
Well, the primary purpose of blinds is an incentive. It is unlikely that anyone will want to play just for fun in any of the big poker tournaments. And these forced bets will give players something to compete for. Both versions of the blind create the right incentive and make up the initial pot, which increases during the game as the participants make bets. Note that in cash games, the size of the blinds depends on the table limits.
None of the existing poker tournaments would be able to take place without the mandatory bets. It is the constant process of increasing the size of the blinds that impact the game and the players themselves, because no one can just wait until the end of the game without making bets and risking their chips. Note that the time and size of the rate increase may vary and depend on the rules established by the organisers of a particular tournament.
The blinds serve as a kind of standard for determining the size of the pot, as there are very different betting limits. In some games, they can be equal to one dollar, and in major tournaments or in some Las Vegas casinos – tens of thousands of standard units. This is also the reason why in big poker, theoretical calculations are made in blind units and not in money.
To conclude, blinds are needed in poker as a stimulant for players. They make up the pot, which each of the participants in the game wants to take possession of. This mandatory bet tends to increase. It is completed by the two players to the left of the button – the participant with the dealer’s chip. The dealer changes, which means that every player at the poker table can make a blind.
New players often make mistakes on the small blind. Here are a few of the more common ones
This means that you should not choose the flop just because you’ve already paid some of the money. It is also important to take the weakness of the SB post-flop position into account, play only strong hands and make a convincing raise when bluffing.
The blind in poker is not only a mandatory bet but also an important strategic element. To use it correctly, follow these tips:
All poker players do not like the game on the blinds because, in the long run, it is always unprofitable. However, you can reduce losses if you play the BB and SB correctly and also steal them from time to time.