The Blinds

Here’s a fundamental: blinds are not yours. It’s table tax. In a 4-8 game table tax is 6 bucks a round. At the cardroom where I play they average a little better than 30 hands an hour. So you owe 18 bucks an hour for your seat. Now it doesn’t mean that you can’t win a hand on your own blind, that you won’t chop with the other blind or that you can’t steal other people’s. Some novice tournament players want to steal blinds in a round so that they can fold for another round. It’s weak play, but it is a sort of natural strategy that comes to you when you start playing tournaments: fold and move into the money.

            The same sort of thing occurs with younger-minded players or even experienced plyers, when they develop a defensive strategy about how to protect their blinds. A funny thing happens when you have a small bet committed to a pot before you even see your cards. The immediate idea is that no matter what the bet or raise, you are getting a discount, better pot odds and the like. Not so. You are getting suckered. It’s difficult to have someone move on your blinds when they know you’re tight. A woman whom I used to play tournaments with quite often developed a sort of “mama bear” reputation when her blinds were in play. Even if you were new to the game, you could feel that if you fucked with a little bit of her money, it was going to cost you the rest of yours to get at it. I loved it. Loved watching her do it. To this day she’s the only one I’ve ever seen who has cultivated such an image for one particular position per round.

            Of course that was tournament play. In live action, at 4-8 anyway, things are different. I don’t doubt that this idea might be wrong for 10-20 or 30-60, but at 4-8 and definitely at 2-5 spread, this is the way to go.