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Home Poker Tournaments Moving The Blinds by Michael Thomas

No Escaping the Big Blind in Home Poker Tournaments

Do you think you know all of the rules that govern a good game of Texas Holdem Poker? You may think so, but home games always bring up strange situations where players and the host are not always certain how to proceed. This guide is going to introduce you to one of the more common situations that cause confusion. There is one easy rule that you must remember in order to maneuver this situation: no one escapes the big blind. Ever.

Here’s the Situation

What happens when a player is busted form the tournament before the pay a blind bet that they were scheduled to pay? This is where the “dead button” rule comes into play. In simple terms, you move the big blind around the table by a single spot. The deal is then created behind the big blind, and in some cases a single player may end up dealing two or three times in a row due to the situation. What is important is that the big blind is paid. There is no escaping that rule.

Consider the Options

What can happen that would cause a player who has placed a blind bet to be kicked from the tournament before paying the blind? There are three options:

1. A player paid the big blind the previous hand but was knocked out prior to this round. They were scheduled to pay the small blind this time, but are absent. The big blind will move one player to the left in this case. The player who posted the small blind on the previous hand will end up paying the big blind this time around. No small blind gets posted for this hand. On the following hand, the big blind will move one player to the left again and another player will post the small blind in order to bring the game back to a state of normalcy.

2. A player paid the small blind the previous hand but was knocked out prior to this round. The player expected to deal this hand is no longer in the game, so the big blind must move one player to the left and the small blind is posted. The dealer will deal again in this case, placing the game back to a state of normalcy.

3. One player paid the small blind and another player paid the big blind the previous hand, but they were both knocked out prior to this hand. In this case, the big blind once again moves one player to the left, but the small blind is not posted at all. The dealer will deal twice in a row in this case. The following hand, the big blind will move one player to the left again while someone posts the small blind to place the game back in a state of normalcy.

Are You Confused?

It might seem confusing to follow these rules right now, but once you see it play out you will understand. You have to acknowledge that the big blind is what moves around the table, and there is method to the madness. It is not random. Deals flow directly from the blinds, so the rules are not difficult to understand when you think of it in that manner.

There can be confusion when these situations occur and no one is familiar with the rules, so you may want to overview them with players before you start a game at your hosted tournament. You shouldn’t let the game go into a state of chaos over this, but it all goes over easily when the rules are well understood.

You will find a lot of additional tips and tricks for hosting tournaments in your home. Right now, get off the computer and go throw some chips.

This article was published on Friday 31 July, 2009.
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