What is a ‘Blind Bet’?
A blind bet, or more simply a “blind”, is a bet that certain players at a poker table are required to make before they receive their cards. The player is ‘betting blind’, as the name implies. In Texas Hold ‘Em, there are usually two blind bets – the small blind, for the player sat immediately to the left of the dealer, and the big blind, for the player sat to the left of the small blind. The big blind is usually double the amount of the small blind.
The terms ‘big blind’ and ‘small blind’ also refer to the positions at the table, and the players in those positions. The positions rotate with each hand, ensuring that each player must factor in the cost in order to stay at the table and remain in the game.
‘Blind Bets’ Explained
Much like antes, the purpose of blind bets is to encourage looser play by introducing a cost for players simply to be sat at the table, encouraging them to enter games even with weaker hands. The larger the blind bets are, the more viable looser play becomes since an extremely tight player playing few hands would bleed chips from blinds over the course of many hands. The blinds generally dictate play for the rest of the players – once they have seen their cards, they must at least call the big blind to stay in the game, provided that no other players opt to raise.
Blind bets are rarely used together with antes, with the exception of tournament play. In addition, blind bets are usually raised in tournaments according to a schedule, growing progressively higher. The size of the blind bets and the speed at which they raise helps to determine the length of the tournament.