For those who are running their own tournament, knowing when to raise the blinds can be a big key to making the tourney go off without a hitch. This is a good piece of information to have because it can make the difference between an exciting game and a dull one, or one that is too frantic versus one that flows along at the right pace. Blinds, in the end, are all about pacing. This is the first part that you want to decide about your poker tournament and getting it right means a big success.
The first thing you need to decide on is how big the blinds are going to be each time you raise them, meaning what the amount will be in terms of an increment (ex: $5 versus $50 each time the blind is raised). For each raise you need to make sure that you have the chips available to do what you want. You can make a small chart and list the size of each blind raise, even scaling the amounts into bigger raises as you go. Remember to keep in mind the comfort level of your players. A home game should probably stick to small raises because players may not want to end up wagering hundreds of dollars at the table in this setting. Five dollar raises are good, twenty dollars might be pushing it. If you aren’t sure, ask around and get the opinion of the players prior to beginning the tourney.
Most people like to play a few hands in a home game before they begin. Five hands can be good before a blind is raised. This helps make the game more exciting at a set pace. Each dealer will do things a little bit differently, but as long as your players are happy with things that is what matters the most.