Poker Tournament Blind Structure
Every tournament that you ever play in will have a blind structure. How fast a tournament’s blind structure changes will have a large impact on your overall strategy. In tournaments, blinds go up over time. The blind will go up after a certain period decided before the tournament starts.
Most of you will know what a blind is, but for you, new players a blind is a set amount of money that is placed in the pot before the hand starts. The player to the left of the dealer button is the small blind and the player to the left of the small blind is the big blind. For example, in a 2/4 game, the small blind will place $2 in the pot and the big blind $4 in the pot.
The Purpose of Blind Structure
The purpose of having a blind structure in a tournament is to ensure that once the desired duration of a tournament has been met, it is difficult for players with small stacks of chips to stay in the tournament. This process forces small stacked player to play aggressively to enlarge their chips stacks.
How Blind Structure Works
Tournament blind structure can be different for each tournament you play in. Most of the time you will see blinds raised in periods of 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes. This is determined by how many chips you start out with and how long the tournament should last. In most cases, the first blinds will be 1/50 the number of starting chips and will double with each raise.
Faster raises in blinds require players to take more risks to keep up. The longer the blind raise, the more skill required. Before you start a new tournament, you will want to look at the blind structure; this will help you plan your strategy.
Aggressive Blind Structure
If the blind structure is fast, you will want to play more aggressive in the early stages of the tournament. You should also have a plan for what to do if you get short stacked early, as the blinds will start to eat away your short stack as you wait for a premium hand. It is important to try to increase your chip stack early in a fast blind structure.
Slow Blind Structure
A slow blind structure will require a strategy where you play tighter and only with premium hands in early stages. You will also have more time to build back your chips if your aces get cracked for example. You can slowly build up your chip stack by taking down smaller pots in tournaments with a slow blind structure.
A tournaments blind structure is one of the most overlooked parts of playing in a tournament. It is one of the few pieces of information that you can get and use to your advantage before a tournament starts, so you will want to use it. If you are playing online, this information is easy to find by just clicking on the tournament’s information, on most sites it will have the payout and blind structure readily available to read.
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