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Splitting Blinds

What is ‘Splitting Blinds’?

‘Splitting blinds’ is a common poker phrase used to describe the process of returning bets to players when a deal does not go ahead after the blinds have been posted. The players who put the big and small blinds into the pot to start the game will receive their stake back, and all cards will be returned to the dealer for a new deal to begin.

‘Splitting Blinds’ Explained

In poker, the ‘blind bet’ is a wager made at the start of the game. It is made before the player has been permitted to see their cards, and it is a forced bet, which means the player has to make it. There are usually two blinds – a big blind and a small blind – and each is sat to the left of the dealer. The small blind is half the value of the big blind, and the big blind is usually equal to the minimum bet.

After the blinds are posted, the players look at their cards and can opt to bet. In very rare situations, all of the players might decide not to play that hand, and fold before betting. This leaves a small pot with two blinds in it, and nobody to win it. The two who posted the blinds might decide to play on in a heads up match, but they can also opt for what is called ‘splitting blinds’. This is when the players agree to take back their stakes in the pot and skip the hand themselves. The blinds move around the table, the new hand is dealt and the next betting round begins.

Occasionally, splitting blinds might occur because of a misdeal or other error by the dealer, after the blinds are posted but before any other betting action takes place. If everyone is in agreement, the hand might be abandoned and redealt, with the players who have posted blinds opting for their stake back.