Depending on the blinds positioning system, i've seen situations when a player can miss either the small or the big blind alone or both. Pokerstars (and not only), due to it's forward button system, it allows for players to skip blinds the next hand if one of the blinds leaves.

Example of missing only the small blind: You play the big blind and sit out the next hand, therefore missing the small blind.

Example of missing only the big blind: You sit out in UTG position and miss the big blind the next hand. Then, the hand after, the small blind leaves allowing for the dealer button to jump over you therefore skipping the small blind instead of missing it.

Example of missing both blinds: You sit out in UTG position and wait for the dealer to pass over you before joining again.

My question is, in a three-handed game, if one of the players sits out what blinds will he/she miss and when? That is if he/she returns after other player(s) joins the game, otherwise he/she will be able to join only as the big blind, not posting any missing blinds.

3 Answers 3


Anyone who sits out just to skip the blinds doesn't understand what's really happening. If you sit out and miss both blinds, once the button gets to you, you'll have to pay both blinds before you're even dealt cards. Same if you skip the SB. You are absolutely not getting a free ride through. Sometimes it may seem like you get by without paying, but it will automatically take out your blinds for you instead of asking. Either way, you have to pay to play.

Also, it's a very immature thing to do, blinds are mostly inconsequential to pay.

  • 1
    This question was not at all about players trying to scam the system by avoiding the blinds. It's about when and how these players can re-enter the game. Aug 22, 2015 at 19:30

You should get away from a forward moving button, it is much more complicated then it needs to be, instead of programing for were the button needs to go you will be programming for extra blinds that can be none standard for several hands. Write as simple a routine as you can for moving the button then test it, see how it naturally handles players coming and going and short handed games, you might find your over complicating things in your planning IE you may find you do not need to write an exception for the routine when the game is two or three handed. Remember whatever way you do it, it is something that is pretty much a zero sum thing for the players.

Without a forward moving button the rule is simple, you place the button in relationship to the first player to receive cards. The button then goes to the last player whom is eligible to receive cards because they have paid blinds. Where the button was has nothing to do with were the button will go. That way you only need track for eligible players in relationship going counter clockwise from the first player to receive cards. Add some exception for head up play IE small blind is on the button or not, and perhaps allowing people to buy the button and you have it. You do a forward moving button (Which btw is just a really lame thing people came up with because they did not think anyone should get the button twice and is rarely used in many of venues anymore), and the rules you need to program become much more complicated and terse.

Three handed, the only place a player can return is on the big blind. Unless they want to buy the button, which you can program for or not.

  • Hand #1: Seat 1 and seat 2 are playing heads up. Seat 4 is sitting out. Hand #2: New player joins in seat 3 on the big blind. Seat 4 comes back and joins the hand in UTG. What blind(s) did seat 4 miss while being away in this case? Can i speculate saying that if seat 4 played last as the big blind he missed the small blind otherwise he didn't miss anything?
    – osmiumbin
    Feb 9, 2015 at 14:58
  • Both of them, you miss the big blind, you have always missed both blinds.
    – Jon
    Feb 9, 2015 at 20:06

I have seen the behavior you talk about as well. However, if you pay close attention, it will usually throw the blind that was missed into the pot on the next round that you play a hand.

There are situations where this is not true, however, such as when a third player just went out, the blind order sometimes changes in a way that someone will miss a small or big blind and not be charged for it.

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