How blinds work.

We are often asked questions about the Blinds in Texas Holdem.

Blinds and the Dealer Button

The dealer puck commonly known as the Button is a round plastic disk which informs the dealer where to begin dealing. It, and the blinds move clockwise after each turn. Most of the time the blinds are simply a fact of the game and a means to prevent people from sitting around waiting for AA or KK. They can, however, become important in later stages of a tournament as they double in value following a defined period of play. The button and blinds are placed like this:

The dealer button sits in the corner seat. The dealer will deal to the Small Blind first then to the Big Blind and so on around the table until each player including the dealer has 2 cards (assumes the dealer is a player). Betting starts clockwise to the right of the Big Blind. So the first to act in this example will be the left seat in the diagram. The first to act must decide whether they call the Big Blind, raise or fold. Bets go clockwise around the table to the Big Blind who is last to act. In this example I am the Small Blind with Ace Queen. Once the betting round is complete, the flop can be dealt:
9 of Hearts Queen of Clubs 3 of Spades

After the flop, I would be the first to act as the Small Blind. A round of betting occurs followed by the Turn Card (4th card).
9 of Hearts Queen of Clubs 3 of Spades 7 of Diamonds

A further round of betting follows the Turn Card (again started by myself in the Small Blind position). Last, but certainly not least the River Card comes out (the 5th card).
9 of Hearts Queen of Clubs 3 of Spades 7 of Diamonds Ace of Hearts

Small Blind commences the final round of betting after which the Hole Cards of those left in the round are displayed (or folded) and the winner of the pot is the holder of the best five from seven. I would be well placed in this example with two pair Aces over Queens with a Nine Kicker but there are many combinations that could beat this and I suffer from bad seat position: see below.

The next hand would commence with the Blinds and the Dealer Button moving one place clockwise, thereby ensuring that all players pay these forced bets in turn.

We are asked many questions in our Poker Forums in relation to the Big Blind losing an all-in. What happens to the Blinds in the following round? The answer is straightforward, the Big Blind will be the next player clockwise (there is always a Big Blind) and there will be no Small Blind (the Small Blind in this example would have been the player that just lost the previous all-in). Normality returns the following round. The other situation we are asked about relate to the Small Blind losing an all-in, and the position of the Dealer Button the following round? As before the Big Blind and Small Blind move clockwise and the Dealer Button moves to the empty chair that had belonged to the losing Small Blind in the previous round.

For an explanation of any of these terms please see our Glossary of Poker Terms.

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Published on: 2005-05-09 (27848 reads)

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