It is often said that the blinds in poker are lazy and a nuisance. And the truth is that very few people want to be the big blind in a poker game, not even the small blind. Why does it have this bad reputation?
The truth is that it has to do with fun, simply put. It hurts to put it this way, but being a blind is pretty boring. The good thing always comes with the dealer, a very fun position in which you see the game developing from a privileged position. But from then on, it’s all downhill. And being the blind means having very few playable hands within your reach, and this tendency remains so until you reach the UTG, where only very high cards are worth … and again you return to the blinds.
But let’s go by parts: What are the blinds in poker? Is there any difference between a big blind and a small blind in poker? What is their structure? The blinds in poker are often mentioned in books and movies that use this game as a backdrop, but their meaning escapes you if you don’t have the slightest idea about poker.
The blinds in poker are a mandatory bet that is made before the betting turn begins. They are located behind the dealer, and both must bet a certain amount, regardless of the hand they have. The blinds in poker play a crucial role, and they delimit the minimum and maximum limits of the bets. This is done to guarantee the game, preventing some players to abstain from the game and that all bets are delimited in a concrete frame, avoiding irrational peaks in the bets that break the dynamics of the game.
Let’s explain it in a simpler way. As much as it is said that blinds are boring in poker, the truth is that they are very necessary because they guarantee that there will be play in every hand. In fact, in many occasions it is possible to take advantage of them, and they also prevent the game from stagnating. Therefore, it can be said that they are a necessary lesser evil.
Now that you know what a blind in poker is, let’s get into specific issues that have to do with them in a game.
As we mentioned a few lines above, being the big blind can be very beneficial in certain contexts. Imagine for a moment that you have a premium hand and you are the big blind. You have in your power the option to hide your trump and have privileged information beforehand to be able to decide. If you are UTG and you have AA you will have to go all in, which can easily put you in a box.
The range is much larger if you have those AA and you are the big blind. A call will be enough to show that you are defending the blind if the hand is clean, although you can re-raise without being placed in big ranges.
In other words: the blind can be used to create a distorted image of your game, making you a much more unpredictable player.
There is always talk about how important the blinds are in poker and the benefits you can get if you use them well, and the truth is that it is so. For example, if a hand comes clean to your blinds, you can handle a much larger range than if it does not. Another important point: the idea of matching from UTG. It is advisable to do so, even though some opponents may get in the way with their re-raises. If this happens and for example you are the small blind, you will only have to check or call a small amount to go for the master play with less risk. Do you see how useful a blind is in poker under certain conditions?
Speaking of specific conditions in Texas Hold’em games: the issue of stealing the blinds from the UTG is something that few people would think of. However, from the small blind you can squeeze the game more and even get the call of a fisher you pluck.
The structure of the blinds in poker is quite peculiar and only with time you get to learn all the variants that open before you when handling the blinds. A big blind and a small blind in poker have the function of limiting the minimum and maximum limits of the bets, but they can be used in your own favor or to mislead the other players so that they cannot get an idea of the game of the blinds.
And one last consideration about the blinds and the game in general: a very common mistake that usually takes its toll especially on the blinds is that many times players adopt too passive roles under the false illusion that this way they are assured of opting for the most succulent prizes. In reality, this strategy has little future. In poker, whoever wants the pot has to risk, and staying in the background is no guarantee of anything.
The structure of the blinds in poker is closely related to the kind of game we are playing and the strategy we use to play. It is also important to be clear if you are going to opt for a slower game, giving time for everyone to demonstrate your strategies, or more frenetic, where the ability to react is key.
The faster the amount of the blind increases, the more fun the game becomes. For example, if the blind becomes an important part of the chips the player has, this will ultimately be the only option he will have to play. If the blind is small, it will be more in line with the amount of chips of the other opponents.
The blinds go up according to the minimum and maximum blinds. If the small blind is 10 and the big blind is 100, each player must have a thousand chips. The blinds can be raised by doubling the limits proportionally.