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5 Tips to Help You Beat the Blinds in Balatro


Balatro keyart
Need some tips to win big in Balatro?

We can all agree on one thing; Balatro is fantastic. Success rates can vary though, as it can take a few attempts to get to grips with all the mechanics working together at the same time. And, whilst the tutorial gives us the most basic of grips of Balatro, there are a few things I have picked up on only after playing the game for several hours. 

I am no Balatro expert, but these tips helped me immensely. Here are 5 tips to help you beat the blinds in Balatro.

Learn to love all Jokers

Balatro jokers
Love those Jokers

This first tip works both ways: all Jokers are useful in some way or another, but no Jokers should be considered irreplaceable. 

Due to the nature of Balatro, and indeed roguelikes in general, you need to be adaptable to whatever the game throws at you. Sometimes the luck of the draw is that a Joker you had on a previous run that did devastating numbers hasn’t appeared in this latest run, so you need to make do with what is available to you. You need to learn to love all Jokers, and plan around them as these are likely what will boost your multiplier up the most.

Conversely, don’t get too attached to them. New runs present new opportunities. One of the first Jokers you will likely encounter is one that gives a base +4 multiplier. This is fine for some of the earlier blinds, but you’ll need something meatier as you progress. Indeed, any Joker that is a Holographic variant instantly comes with a +10 multiplier on top of whatever special effect it has afterwards. 

And you’ll find many other Jokers more suited to your playstyle. For me, Spare Trousers – a Joker that gains +2 multiplier everytime a hand containing Two Pairs is played – is my go to. But I am not afraid to be dictated by early Joker choices either.

Don’t be afraid to skip the blinds

Balatro Big Blind
Consider the Blinds

This next tip is perhaps for more advanced Balatro players, but is also useful for those willing to take a risk. During an Ante, only the Boss Blind is required to be played, you can skip the Small and Big Blinds, and are usually well compensated for doing so.

Skipping blinds will earn you a tag that grants you an additional perk. These can only be found from skipping blinds. They range from increasing hand sizes for a round, making all items in your next shopping spree free, adding additional items to the shop or something else entirely. It is always worthwhile keeping an eye on these tags and weighing up your options.

Also, skipping blinds can be beneficial for your Jokers. The Ice Cream Joker for example grants +100 chips, but decreases by five for each hand player. That just makes sense then to not play as many hands and have as much extra chippage for the latter stages. Popcorn Joker is another, granting +20 multiplier, but reducing by four each round, before eventually discarding itself. If you can pick that one up towards the end, it may be worth getting to the final Ante as fast as possible.

Don’t neglect the standard card booster packs

Balatro Arcana Packs
Embrace the Arcana

You will by now be very aware of the treasure within the Celestial, Arcana, Buffoon and Spectral booster packs, but the Standard booster always felt a bit underwhelming by comparison. It, however, can be full of hidden goodies.

The Standard booster grants you the ability to add a card to your deck. It comes into its own if you are focussing on one suit in particular, allowing you to hopefully add to that. But even if you aren’t playing a run that way, these shouldn’t be neglected. Often, they will include at least one or two cards that have had a Tarot or a Spectral card played on them. You can find wild cards, steel, stone, bonus and glass cards all within a Standard pack, as standard. 

There may be more randomness than applying your own Tarot card to your deck, but these can also help shift you into a more focussed gameplan for a particular run.

Positioning is key

Balatro Braided Deck
The Braided Deck in Balatro

The final two tips go hand-in-hand. Namely, because I had no idea until I discovered it by accident, but also because of some basic mathematics.

Did you know that you can position your Jokers and even your hand before submitting? If many of you did, then maybe I am just not as observant as I thought I was, but if not, here is why this is absolutely crucial.

Say for example, you have a Glass Card, or the Triboulet Joker that gives a x2 multiplier for every King or Queen scored in a hand. The default setting for Balatro will position your face cards at the front of your hand when scoring, but a x2 multiplier will be most beneficial when scored last. You want all chip multipliers to be added before hitting it for a x2, rather than doing a x2 and then adding additional multipliers. Just trust me on that one:

Eg. Base multiplier is 6. Have your x2 multiplier here will boost that to 12 and then you have a +4 and a +3 multiplier at the end, granting you a x19 multiplier in total. Move the multiplier to the end so that you have 6 + 4 + 3 = 13 and then x2 to give you a x26 multiplier, a sevenfold increase on your chips just by moving a card down the hand.

The same goes for Joker placement too. Cards like the Acrobat Joker that gives a x3 to the multiplier on the final round of a hand, get that in the last Joker slot for maximum efficacy. Just hold the A button down when choosing a card or Joker and drag it to where it needs to be.

My general rule of thumb is that for chip increase Jokers keep them on the left, any that add to the overall multiplier in the middle, and the heavy hitting multiply multiplier “Jokers to the right”. Here I am…

Know the difference between +2 and x2

Balatro The Eye
Know what you are doing…

If you were able to follow the maths lesson in the tip above, then this may not apply. However, this is more of an English lesson, as it is all about reading.

A good Balatro player will know to adapt to the Jokers given to you. But an even better player will know where to improve their Joker tray.

By all means, gather up the multiplier increases in the early game, but as you progress you may notice the chip count you are multiplying in the first instance starts to lag behind. Even the Celestial cards can’t compete with adding chips like some Jokers do. The Scary Face Joker adds 30 chips for each face card played, whilst the Hiker Joker gives a permanent +4 chips to a card, every single time it is played. Get this latter one in early and you’ll be earning mega chips on even lower numbers.

However, even all this can only get you so far. Towards the latter stages, you will come undone unless you have a beefy multiplier Joker to compound all this hard work. And that’s once again where the maths comes in. There is no point holding onto a simple multiplier adder in the late game when you are struggling to meet the blind requirements. Get yourself a multiplier as a priority once you get past Ante 6.

But why is this an English lesson you ask? Oh, just don’t make the same mistake I did for far too long and not properly read the card descriptions. Take notice that +2 and x2 are shown differently in the Joker descriptions. Multiplier Jokers will highlight their power in the description by putting the number and symbol in a red box to really emphasise it. It’s a minor thing to note, but could potentially have huge ramifications.

And that’s our list of hints – 5 tips to help you beat the blinds in Balatro and ultimately, how to win big. For now, anyways. Balatro on the Xbox Store has the potential to throw up something unexpected with every card, so there may be more tips to come as we try and get our heads around it all. 

Do you have any other suggestions? As always, share the knowledge in the comments below.

Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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