Poker Basics: Blinds

Hold'em, Omaha, Five-Card Draw, and their variants, start the action each hand by way of forced bets known as blinds. The player clockwise to the dealer wedge must post the small blind, and the next player in rotation must post the big blind.

The big blind is the lower betting stake in a limit game ($5 in a $5/$10 game, for example), and the small blind is half the big blind, usually rounded down to the nearest dollar ($2 in a $5/$10 game). Blinds remain constant in ring games. In tournaments they increase over time according to a pre-defined schedule.

The player clockwise to the big blind starts the action by folding, calling, or raising the big blind. If the action cycles the table without a raise, the big blind has the option of raising.

Blinds are posted for the first betting round only. For all subsequent betting rounds, the first active player clockwise to the dealer-wedge starts the action by checking or betting.

Pride is the dealer; Envy has posted the Small Blind; Greed has posted the Big Blind. Sloth must fold, call $5, or raise to $10. You are required to post a big blind when you first enter a ring game, although you have the option of "sitting out" until the big blind reaches you.

Poker basics
Hand Rankings
Betting Rounds
Table Stakes
The Dealer Button
Betting Structures
High-Low Split (8)

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