This hand is part of the IRC poker database. It's a limit heads-up game with a $10 small bet and a $20 big bet.

The database shows the following actions for the two players "Carcass" and "num":

Carcass   Bf       -     -     -         $10
num       r        -     -     -         $20

In this database, action B means to post a blind, r is to raise, and f is to fold.

My understanding is that the game goes like this:

  1. Carcass posts small blind of $5 (half of small bet)
  2. num raises by $10 (small bet)
  3. Carcass folds

If this is correct, "Carcass" has bet a total of $5, and "num" has bet a total of $15. However the database shows that the total bets are $10 and $20, respectively. Is there any explanation for this, or perhaps the database has it wrong?

One thing that seems odd is that there is nothing that suggests "num" posting the big blind.

  • Is there any annotation for a call?
    – Herb
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 1:06
  • Thanks Herb Wolfe, there is nothing in the annotations that suggests anyone calling, but if the small blind did call, I it would all make sense: Then the game would go like this: 1. Carcass posts the SB of $5 (half of small bet) 2. num posts the BB (not shown in num's first annotation b/c num later raises the BB) 3. Carcass folds (let's assume this maps to a call-then-fold.) 4. num raises. This would add up to the total bets of $10/$20, per the annotation. Perhaps this can explain what is going on but it seems strange that the call would be omitted from the annotations.
    – user7147
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 7:45
  • @vallen, is this a normal two blind structure? If the players just put in antes or there was just one blind this hand would make more sense
    – Clarko
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 17:55
  • There's only a tiny fraction of games where a blind is not shown as an action for player 2. I'm sure something interesting is happening in those games, but I haven't figured it out yet. Will look more at it tomorrow, hopefully.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 7:57
  • Why don't you give us more than one record!
    – John Dee
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Not every hand has to have both blinds. In some games, when the BB from the previous hand leaves the table, the SB becomes dealer and there is no SB for the next hand. I think that's what you're seeing here.

So although the game is normally 5/10, for this hand there's only a single 10 ante by player 1.

Looking at the game preceding this one in the database, indeed 'num' was present and in SB position, while the other players (including the BB) were different. So that's at least consistent. It means that the new player 'Carcass' would have to post the BB, while 'num' was allowed to play without posting a blind.

ETA: I've confirmed this now. I checked and every time a game is played with a single blind, the previous game's big blind is no longer at the table. So a single blind game is just a side effect from how the button and blinds move after players leave.

  • Thanks everyone for helping! I am marking this as the accepted answer as it seems reasonable that BowlOfRed's theory is correct; the theory both explains the bet amounts and is consistent with other hands where the BB left the table.
    – user7147
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 7:21

This is how I think the hand went assuming a normal two blind structure, let me know what you think.

  1. Carcass posts $5 small blind
  2. num posts $10 big blind
  3. Carcass calls the big blind
  4. num raises to $20
  5. Carcass folds

If it is a one blind structure then the database hand would be more straightforward, but that kind of structure is rare.

  • IRC db uses 'b' for bet and 'B' for blind.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 5:22
  • thanks for the info. ive updated my answer @BowlOfRed
    – Clarko
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 7:02

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