If the primary purpose of blinds is to build pot equity for the pre-flop betting round, why are there two blinds (Small Blind and Big Blind) instead of just a one?

Would not a single blind accomplish the task of building pot equity for the players, as well as provide motivation for the blind player to participate with an otherwise unwanted hand?

Since the blind still rotates around the table to each player, each player will still be motivated to play their hand in order to recoup chips lost from the blind responsibility. If the size of the pot is a concern, the single blind could provide the equivalent value of the combined Small Blind and Big Blind.

Similarly, why have the two blinds differ (Small Blind = half Big Blind) rather than both be the same amount?

  • Enough is relative. More equity is more equity. Unwanted hand is relative. So you think a hand would play the same if you had 1 bb versus 1.5 bb to start. A 50% difference still would make no real difference in equity?
    – paparazzo
    May 17 '16 at 19:36
  • Possible duplicate of What is the purpose of blinds?
    – paparazzo
    May 17 '16 at 19:50
  • @Paparazzi There must be some rationale for splitting it between two players rather than requiring a single player match 1.5 Big Blind. This rationale is what I'm trying to understand. May 17 '16 at 20:13
  • 1
    It is the dynamic of a forced bet and a forced raise. That is different than one force bet of the same total. If combined a call would be a different amount. What is the purpose of a min raise? They picked some rules that seems to work. You could change if you want for a home game.
    – paparazzo
    May 17 '16 at 20:21
  • Without two blinds how would you ever have a battle of the blinds?
    – user1934
    May 20 '16 at 16:04

Blinds are the essence of poker games. All strategy is built on the basis of stealing the money that are already in the pot (Dead money). Without the blinds, a player can fold every hand but Aces, thus (in the long term) would never lose money.

Now, there are different setups to achieve that, like big and small blinds, two big blinds, blinds with antes, antes only, blinds with antes and straddles, Mississippi straddles etc.

Why the traditional "Big-Small blind" setup is more common, one argument is that it creates action between (at least) two people in each hand, while what you suggested with just one Super Big blind, would just force the player to call initial raisers more frequently, changing slightly the character of the game as we know it. Still, viable though.


There are multiple problems with the proposal that 1 player put up 1.5xBB rather than as it is actually played.

  1. a $1-$2 game would then just become a more expensive game as now it would cost $3 to limp, and $6 to (min) raise rather than $2 and $4.

  2. Having 2 blinds gives 2 players equity in the pot rather than just one presumably creating more action. A player with some equity in the pot (Even just 1/2 BB) is more likely to defend with a marginal hand than someone with no equity in the pot.

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