Poker night has made a comeback, and in a big way. People are gathering for friendly games of texas holdem on a regular basis in kitchens and rec rooms everywhere. And while most people are familiar with all of the basic rules of texas holdem, there are bound to be situations that come up in a home game where players are not sure of the proper ruling.
One of the more common of these situations involves . . .
The Blinds - when a player who was scheduled to pay a blind bet is busted from the tournament, what happens? Using what is called the Dead Button rule makes these rulings easier. The Big Blind always moves one place around the table.
"No one escapes the big blind."
That's the easy way to remember it. The big blind moves around the table, and the deal is established behind it. It is perfectly fine for a player to deal twice in a row. It is ok for a player to deal three times in a row on occasion, but it never comes to pass that someone is exempted from paying the big blind.
There are three situations that can happen when a blind bettor is knocked out of the tournament.
1. The person who paid the big blind last hand is knocked out. They are scheduled to pay the small blind this hand, but aren't there. In this case, the big blind moves one player to the left, as always. The deal moves left one spot (to the player who posted small blind last time). There is no small blind posted this hand.
The following hand, the big blind moves one to the left, as always. Someone posts the small blind, and the dealer remains the same. Now, things are back to normal.
2. The second situation is when the person who paid the small blind busts out. They would be scheduled to deal the next hand, but they aren't there. In this case, the big blind moves one to the left, as always. The small blind is posted, and the same player deals again.
Things are once again in order.
3. The last situation is when both blinds are knocked out of the tournament. The big blind moves one player, as always. No one posts the small blind. The same player deals again.
On the next hand, the big blind moves one player to the left, as always. Someone posts a small blind. The dealer remains the same.
Now, things are back to normal again.
Once people change their way of thinking from valuing the dealer puck being passed around the table, to seeing that it is the Big Blind that moves methodically around the table, and the deal is an offshoot of the blinds, these rules fall into place easily.
While no friendly game of poker should fall apart if there is confusion over dealing with the blinds when a player scheduled to pay one has busted out, knowing these rules helps the game move along smoothly. And it makes it more enjoyable for everyone.
I'll be writing more about hosting home tournaments, in the meantime, enjoy your time playing cards.