What is a Blind in Poker?

Poker is a favorite game of millions of people. Whether in-person or online, thousands of chips are thrown onto the table every day. We know Omaha and Texas Hold’em, which are truly precious games with dynamic game flow and good opportunities to win. However, over the years, dozens of poker modifications have been created. 

What makes this game so special and evergreen? The ideal rules that engage players and keep the game hot till the last bet. One of these rules is the concept of the blind. It plays a crucial role in creating growing excitement, so we are going to discuss them in this article. 

What is a blind? 

Blind is the bet that game participants are obliged to place even before dealing cards. In games like Texas Hold’em, there are usually two types of blind — the big one and the small one. However, in other modifications, their number can vary. The big blind is a bet of a player who sits next to the dealer on the left side. And the next player places a small blind. The size of a big one is equal to the current bet. A small is half that size. 

The main purpose of this rule is to initiate the game activity. Without them, players would mindlessly fold their cards at any time they suspected the slightest risk. This could lead to passive and uninteresting games. Blinds encourage players to bet and help to build the pot. It is much easier to call if some chips are already on the table. 

How do blinds work in different game settings? 

Despite the great role of blinds in motivating players to bet, they have other functions. For example, in regular games, they ensure a minimum cost for participating. You can’t join the game without making a call. The blinds are fixed, so they don’t change in the next rounds. However, if players play offline, they can agree to increase or reduce the blind level. In online poker, you can usually choose from a wide range of options — from the smallest blinds to $100 bets and even more.  

In the tournaments, blinds have an even more important function. While they continue to encourage participants to make bets, they also control the duration of a tournament. How does it work? Before the tournament, contestants agree on the increasing scheme. This means that every round, blinds increase (usually by 25-100%). Players need to raise their stacks to stay in the game. 

This rule forces people at the table to accumulate chips and play more often. Constant fold strategy will lead to a guaranteed loss due to mandatory bets. In the last rounds, the risk level is significantly higher than at the beginning of the game. Finally, bets become so big that only one player remains at the table. 

The role of blinds 

The simple rule of unavoidable bets creates a unique atmosphere. On the one hand, players in the blind don’t see cards, so they risk their money without a conscious decision. However, all players know that even with 3 and 7, you can get a straight or a full house. Thus, you can beat your indecisive partners even if they have stronger hands. Moreover, a big blind allows you to raise on the pre-flop, increasing the stack. This can make the game more peppery and volatile. 

Why are blinds the cornerstone of a poker game? 

Poker is a nearly perfect game that has a lot of enticing features. But blinds keep it holistic and exciting. They are more than just mandatory bets. They act as a glue that connects different elements of the game. We have put together several facts that reflect the paramount role of blinds in poker: 

  • They make poker a proactive game. Two players start with a bet even without seeing the cards. They have to play with any hand, so this leads to creativity and proactiveness. Everyone should constantly make decisions instead of passively folding their cards. 
  • Balancing the game. As the dealer chip moves around the table, every player gets in the position of a big or small blind. This rotation distributes the advantages and drawbacks of prerequisite bets and makes the game equal and balanced. 
  • Encouraging aggressive style. This is true both for regular games and tournaments. Blinds force people to bluff, raise bets, and, therefore, interfere with other players’ strategies. This leads to similar reactions, so the game becomes more exciting and sometimes even aggressive. 
  • They require you to be aware of their position. Strategy in the blind differs from other positions. So, you have to carefully watch the dealer chip and make conscious decisions, especially on the flop, when you act first. 
  • Encouraging to apply different tactics. For example, some people often use blind stealing. This means that when you are on the button, you have an option to raise the bet. You can do it in the hope that players in blinds will fold. If all other players have folded already, you’ll just get free chips. This tactic can be very profitable, especially in tournaments. 
  • Blinds teach you to think strategically. When you know that they increase over several rounds, you start to control not only your cards but also your stack. This makes you adjust your strategy for better performance. In fact, players with smaller stacks can win the game if they play wisely in the last rounds. On the contrary, players who are successful in the beginning may fail in the end due to increasing blinds. 
  • Blinds add psychological aspects to the game. Even though poker is closely intertwined with psychology, blinds make this relationship much more spicy. People at the table experience close attention from everyone, so they have to control their emotions and mimic and be extremely confident. 


In this article, we have explored what a blind means for poker and how it influences the game. If you understand that this is not only an obligation to bet but a powerful tool to improve your performance, you’ll become much more successful at the table. With or without a good hand, you can benefit from the mandatory bet position if you employ reliable tactics. Overall, blinds make the process more exciting, proactive, and sometimes even aggressive. Perhaps, this simple rule is the reason why poker is loved by millions of gamblers around the world.