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In a Texas Hold-Em No-Limit Tournament, where the blinds are 200-400, can the big blind initially post more than 400 or does the Big Blind need to wait until it's his turn to raise?

For example we had a player who was the big blind and wanted to know if he could post his 550 chips (all-in) as the big blind instead of waiting for his turn to come around to raise 150 chips.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

In a tournament, "blinds" are set by formula, based on the number of rounds that have elapsed. So the big blind amount in this instance is 400.

It's a LIVE blind, which means that the big blind can raise, but only after others have had a chance to do so. That's the disadvantage of being a big blind.

Essentially, he raises the little blind from 200 to 400, and then again at the end of the round (if no one else has raised 150 or more). But he can't "protect" his blind by raising the whole 550 the first time.

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Er, I would say that's an advantage of being big-blind - if you have a good hand, you get to wait for everyone else to put in before raising. The disadvantage is, if you have a bad hand, you're forced to put something in anyways. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Aug 15 '11 at 22:11
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The debate between you and me is about raising "in" versus raising "out." I'd rather raise people "out." But $150 versus a blind of $400 won't do it. –  Tom Au Aug 15 '11 at 22:49
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The "standard" rule is that action out of turn is only binding if the action remains unchanged (no betting or raising, only folding or calling) until that player's turn.

The big blind's early raise of 150 is an out-of-turn action. The current bet is still 400 until it gets to him. If there is no change in action before the action gets to the big blind (everyone folds or calls), his action becomes binding, and the raise of 150 stands. If an action occurs before play reaches the big blind (a player raises), the big blind may fold, keeping his last 150, or call. If he had enough chips that he could re-raise, he would have that option as well (although then the raise of 150 would have been illegal).

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It depends on the rules of the poker club. But most clubs I've played in, have the same rule; if a player makes an aggressive move (raise, all-in) before his turn, he cannot change this move on his turn, unless an aggressive move happened before his turn. I guess this can be applied also to this situation, making the "unless.." part unimportant, as the big blind wants to go all-in. This doesn't affect other players' turns, as the big blind made the move before his turn, and it "doesn't happen" until his turn. Big blind should be still allowed to fold and take back the 150 chips, if anyone before him raised.

This rule is of course set to treat player mistakes (moves before their turn), so this cannot be done in online poker rooms, as the computer does not allow you to do anything before your turn.

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In most tournaments, the big blind can go all-in blind as well. However, the actual raise does not happen until it is that player's turn. It does commit those chips to the pot, but other players can raise in front of him and do not have to consider his bet when making their raises. So any raise before the big blind would not have that all-in included in their minimum raise.

It is considered bad form to announce your intentions out of turn. Some players take more offense to it than others. And while this move may be understandable, and even expected, you are inviting players to play against only you, reducing your odds of winning as more hands in means more hands that can beat you. You could win your all-in if a bluff pushes someone out ahead of you that was better for a side pot if they have a worse hand.

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