Knowing how to play the blinds in Texas Hold’em poker is crucial to winning the game. Learn when to attack your opponents’ blinds and when to defend your own.
What are blinds?
Blinds are compulsory bets made by two players at the start of each hand of Texas Hold’em poker to ensure that there is always money in the pot. The blinds rotate around the table just ahead of the dealer button. The mandatory bet placed by the player to the left of the dealer is called the small blind, and the player to his left places the big blind.
Big blind advantages
The big blind position means you are the last to make a move. If everyone folds, you win the hand even if your cards are bad. If someone calls your big blind, you still get to see the flop at no additional expense. Quite often, if there is a raise and your cards are mediocre, you will just throw your hand away.
Small blind advantages
Having placed the small blind, you’re already half way to a full bet. You can see the flop just by completing the bet. You also have an opportunity to raise and win the bet if the big blind folds. In any case, you should only play the hand if your cards are good. Being in the small blind has a major disadvantage – you’ll end up throwing away most of your hands at the cost of losing your bet.
With an aggressive strategy you can try to steal the blinds when you’re in late position, especially in tournament play when the blinds are high and players are less likely to call with mediocre hands. Frequently you will find all the hands being folded around you and your bet can cause the blinds to give up as well. This strategy has its limitations, though, when it comes into play against a strong hand being held by either the small or big blind.
With fewer players at the table, the blinds rotate much quicker. Your playing strategy needs to take this into account, both when you’re attacking your opponents’ blinds and when you’re working to defend yours. Fewer opponents also mean that your marginal hands have a better chance of winning, so you should play accordingly.
For more tips on how to play the blinds to your advantage, visit the Titan Poker Texas Hold’em Academy online.
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