Four Boss Blinds in Balatro from left to right: The Club, the Psychic, the Manacle, and The Goad.

Balatro—All Boss Blinds and What They Do

Knowing your enemy is half the battle.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

There are 28 Boss Blinds in Balatro: 23 are regular Boss Blinds while 5 are Finisher Boss Blinds.

You can encounter any of the 23 regular Boss Blinds at the end of any Ante except those that are multiples of 8 (Ante 8, Ante 16, Ante 24, and so on). Finisher Boss Blinds appear at the end of Antes that are multiples of 8, such as Ante 8, Ante 16, Ante 24, etc.

For the most part, you’re only going to get through Boss Blinds if your build is well thought-out and has Jokers that give you lots of Chips and Mult. If you need help, you can reroll a Boss Blind with the Boss Tag or use Jokers like the Luchador or Chicot to disable a Boss Blind’s effect.

In addition to the Small Blinds and Big Blinds in Balatro, at the end of each Ante, you’ll come face to face with Boss Blinds. These challenging rounds force you to think outside the box while potentially hindering your favorite strategies. To defeat Boss Blinds, you must prepare for them.

Table Of Contents

    Beating Blinds in Balatro

    All Blinds and Boss Blinds except one in the Balatro Collection menu.

    Each Ante has three rounds: a Small Blind, a Big Blind, and a Boss Blind. On White Stake difficulty (the base difficulty), Small Blinds have a score requirement equal to the base score of an Ante. Big Blinds need x1.5 times the base score to be passed. Lastly, Boss Blinds in Balatro (in more cases) needs x2 the base score to be defeated.

    The base score of each Ante increases the further you get in your run. Here are the base scores for all Antes up until Ante 16:

    • Ante 1: 300
    • Ante 2: 800
    • Ante 3: 2,800
    • Ante 4: 6,000
    • Ante 5: 11,000
    • Ante 6: 20,000
    • Ante 7: 35,000
    • Ante 8: 50,000
    • Ante 9: 110,000
    • Ante 10: 560,000
    • Ante 11: 7,200,000
    • Ante 12: 300,000,000
    • Ante 13: 47,000,000,000
    • Ante 14: 2.900e13
    • Ante 15: 7.700e16
    • Ante 16: 8.00e20
    Note
    The “e” in the last three Antes stands for “exponent.” An exponent multiplies the value of a number by itself as many times as the number to the right of the “e” indicates. The result of such equations is too long to display efficiently, which is why exponents are used.

    At the end of every eighth Ante, there’s a Finisher Boss Blind, which is notably tougher than most regular Boss Blinds in Balatro.

    Money Rewards for Beating Blinds

    Whenever you clear a Small Blind, you’ll get $3. For Big Blinds, you’ll be rewarded with $4. When a regular Boss Blind is defeated, you’ll earn $5. Finally, for Finisher Boss Blinds, the treasure you get following a victory is $8.

    Rerolling and Disabling Boss Blinds

    You can see which Boss Blind you’ll face at the end of an Ante the moment you begin. If you don’t think you can defeat the upcoming boss, you can try to reroll it with the Boss Tag. However, you need to be fairly lucky to find the Boss Tag exactly when you need it. Since there are 24 Tags in Balatro, with each Ante providing only two, your odds of coming across the Boss Tag are 1 in 12 (about 8.3%).

    Alternatively, there are a few ways to straight-up disable the effects of a Boss Blind. The Luchador Joker is an Uncommon Joker that lets you disable the effect of the current Boss Blind you’re facing. All you need to do is sell the Luchador Joker when in a Boss Blind. Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to do so once (unless you find the Luchador Joker again later).

    Another that can help you against Boss Blinds in Balatro is the Chicot Joker, which disables the effects of all Boss Blinds. This is incredibly powerful and makes defeating Boss Blinds almost trivial. However, Chicot is a Legendary Joker, which can only be found by using the Soul Spectral Card—which itself is quite rare. Among all the Spectral Cards in Balatro, the Soul is arguably the least common.

    The Boss Tag as well as the Luchador and Chicot Jokers from Balatro.

    All Regular Boss Blinds in Balatro

    The player facing the Head Boss Blind in Balatro.

    There are 23 regular Boss Blinds in Balatro (excluding the Finisher Boss Blinds, which we’ll discuss later). Each has different effects, so you won’t be able to brute force your way through all of them in the same manner…unless you disable or reroll them. Furthermore, there are five Finisher Boss Blinds.

     

    The Hook

    Shaped like a capital “Y” in a reddish-brown circle, the Hook Boss Blind discards two random unplayed cards from your hand every time you play a poker hand. This makes it hard to set up your next hand. For example, if you play a hand and have an Ace, a King, and a 2 left among your unplayed cards, the Hook could discard the Ace and the King, leaving you only a 2.

    A great way to get around the Hook’s effect is to win the round by only playing a single high-value hand. The Hook does nothing if you discard cards, so you can line up a nice hand before playing one. Having Jokers and buying Vouchers that give you more discards can help against the Hook.

    The Ox

    This Boss Blind looks like a sideways capital “A” in a dark orange circle. When you face this Boss Blind, if you play your most played Poker Hand type, the boss sets your money to $0. This doesn’t make defeating the Ox that difficult, but stealing your hard-earned cash is a real nuisance when you’re trying to buy items from the shop. The result is upgrading your build becomes tougher.

    To get around the Ox’s effect, you can spend all (or most) of your money in the shop immediately before this Boss Blind. That way, even if you trigger the Ox’s effect, it won’t do much to hinder your finances. Alternatively, you can play a Poker Hand type that is not your most-played one. For instance, if your most-played Poker Hand type is Flush, you can try to use Straights and Fours of a Kind to defeat the Ox.

    The House

    You’ll recognize this Boss Blind as a backward capital “L” with a triangle coming out of its top on a marine blue circle. Its effect causes the cards you draw in your first hand to be face down. This is arguably the worst way to start a Boss Blind, as there’s no good way to tell what cards you have in your hand when they’re all face down.

    If some of them were face up, you could make educated guesses as to what the face-down ones are by sorting your hand by rank and suit. This is exactly what you should do. Discard a few face-down cards and draw new—face-up—ones to counter the House’s effect. That way, you’ll be able to play a hand that has the potential to be a Poker Hand type besides a High Card. What’s more, if you have lots of discards, you can ditch all the initial cards in your hand to remove the need for any guesswork whatsoever.

    The Wall

    The Wall is a Boss Blind featuring a vertical rectangle with a horizontal line through it on a purple circle. Instead of having a unique effect, the Wall’s challenging trait is that you need to score four times the base score of an Ante to defeat it. If—let’s say—you come across this Boss Blind during Ante 4 (which has a base score of 6,000), you’ll need to score 24,000 to clear the round (6,000 x 4 = 24,000).

    The Wall Boss Blind in Balatro, which looks like a rectangle in a purple circle.

    Out of all the Boss Blinds in Balatro, the Wall is one of the toughest to overcome. There’s no trick to get around its effect; you need a solid build to defeat the Wall. As such, using the Boss Tag to reroll this Boss Blind is often the least stressful way to deal with the Wall. Either that or use the Luchador or Chicot Jokers to disable the Wall’s effect. This reduces the round score needed from x4 to x2 the base Ante score. Having more hands helps as well.

    The Wheel

    This Boss Blind is an “X” in a ring within a dark seafoam green circle. The Wheel causes one in every seven cards you draw to be face down. To be blunt, this isn’t much of a challenge to overcome. Even if you get unlucky with your opening hand (implying you have a hand size of eight), you’ll only draw two face-down cards.

    As such, you can discard the few face-down cards you draw and use your usual tactics to defeat the Wheel Boss Blind. You may even get lucky and draw no face-down cards at all if you only play one or two hands to clear this round.

    The Arm

    The Arm appears at a backward capital “F” on a dark periwinkle circle. Whenever you play a hand against this Boss Blind, it decreases the level of that Poker Hand type before scoring occurs. This effect applies to this Boss Blind round and lasts for the rest of the run. As such, if you play multiple hands, the Arm can cripple your base Poker Hand levels to the point where it becomes very difficult to progress further in your current run.

    Similar to when taking on the Hook, it’s best to clear a round against the Arm in as few hands as possible—ideally one. That way, you’ll give the Arm less chances to degrade your Poker Hands levels. Jokers that upgrade Poker Hands, such as the Space Joker (has a one in four chance to upgrade a Poker Hand when a hand of that type is played) can counteract the Arm Boss Blind’s effect.

    The Club

    Looking like an acute angle open towards the bottom-left within a chartreuse circle, the Club’s name gives away its effect. This Boss Blind debuffs all Club cards during this round.

    Note
    Debuffed cards do not give Chips or Mult when scored, and their special effects are not triggered.

    If your build doesn’t focus on Club cards, great! You’ll have no problem taking down the Club. However, if your deck heavily uses Club cards, you’re in for some trouble. If you play a lot of Clubs, we recommend you reroll this Boss Blind or disable it somehow. Keep in mind that debuffed cards can still contribute to creating Poker Hand types like Flushes and Straights—but they won’t be scored or have their effects triggered.

    The Fish

    This Boss Blind looks like an isosceles triangle on an Air Force blue circle. After each hand you play against the Fish, the cards you draw will all be face down. Gaining an increasing number of face-down cards in your hand makes it harder and harder to play high-scoring hands.

    The Fish Boss Blind in Balatro.

    Here’s yet another of the Boss Blinds in Balatro you want to defeat in one hand if possible. Face-down cards are some of the most challenging setbacks to counter. Without luck, there’s not much hope besides blind plays against the Fish Boss Blind. You know, unless you disable the Fish or reroll it.

    The Psychic

    A backward capital “K” on a light yellow circle indicates you’re facing the Psychic Boss Blind. For the most part, you won’t have much trouble with the Psychic, as its effect forces you to always play a hand containing five cards. As a general rule of thumb, five-card hands have the highest scoring potential due to simply having more cards to score. Therefore, it’s almost always wise to play five-card hands like Flushes, Straights, et cetera.

    Unless your build revolves around Fours of a Kind, Threes of a Kind, or similar—the Psychic’s effect won’t hinder you. Use your preferred five-card tactics to take the Psychic Boss Blind down. Even if your five-card Poker Hand types are all unupgraded, you can use Jokers like Gros Michel or Popcorn (both of which add decent Mult to your hand score) to compensate.

    The Goad

    The Goad looks like an acute angle open toward the right on a fuchsia circle. This is one of the Boss Blinds in Balatro that debuff a specific suit—Spades, in this case. As such, if your build uses a lot of Spade cards, you’ll have a tough time against the Goad.

    Conversely, builds that don’t focus on Spades should be fine. As with the Club and other Boss Blinds that debuff individual suits, rerolling or disabling the Goad is often the most effective way to get around or defeat it if you play lots of Spades in your build.

    The Water

    This Boss Blind looks like splashing water on a baby blue circle. The Water forces you to start the round with no discards. While making it challenging to line up a solid hand, it’s not impossible to do so.

    You can play weak hands in place of discarding to ditch cards you don’t want in your hand. Therefore, having a high number of hands per round helps a lot when facing the Water Boss Blind. Prior to coming up against the Water, try grabbing the Grabber Voucher for an increased number of hands.

    The Window

    Three diagonal lines sloping to the bottom left attached to a vertical one on a beige circle represent the Window. Here’s another Boss Blind that debuffs a suit—this time Diamonds. Don’t try to beat this Boss Blind with Diamond cards, as this suit’s cards won’t score.

    The Window Blind that debuffs Diamond cards.

    Try using hands featuring Clubs, Spades, and Hearts again the Window Boss Blind. If that’s not possible, then minimize how many Diamonds you play in a hand. Remember: Diamonds still help you play Poker Hand types, but they won’t give you any score.

    The Manacle

    The Manacle looks like a capital “I” on a dark gray circle. This Boss Blind decreases your hand size by one. While straightforward, this effect can be annoying if you don’t start with a decent hand.

    Having lots of discards is handy (sorry for the pun) when facing the Manacle Boss Blind. Lining up a Flush or a Straight can be tricky here, but Fours of a Kind and Threes of a Kind builds won’t have much issue given a bit of luck.

    The Eye

    Simple in design, the Eye is depicted as a ring on a cobalt blue circle. This Boss Blind makes it so that you cannot play more than one hand of each Poker Hand type this round. For instance, if you play a Straight for your first hand, you cannot do so again during this Boss Blind.

    As such, you’ll need to use a few different tactics to overcome this challenge. Before engaging the Eye Boss Blind, try to level up at least two or three Poker Hand types. This gives you a better chance of clearing this Boss Blind if you cannot do so in one strong hand. With that said, playing a monstrously big hand right away nullifies the potency of the Eye’s effect.

    The Mouth

    The Mouth looks like a line curving up and to the left on a dusty rose circle. In terms of effect, this Boss Blind is the opposite of the Eye and forces you to play only one Poker Hand type this round. As such, if your first played hand is a Flush, you’ll only be able to play Flushes for the rest of this Boss Blind.

    This isn’t too hard to deal with, as your build likely focuses on playing one type of Poker Hand for big scores. Arguably the weakest of the Boss Blinds in Balatro, you can take down the Mouth easily with your preferred strategy in most cases.

    The Plant

    Aesthetically, the Plant looks like a simplistic stem with a zigzagging line of a leaf leading to the upper right on a pine green circle. This Boss Blind challenges you by debuffing all of your face cards. Since face cards are some of your assets with the highest base Chips, this can be a tricky trial over which to triumph.

    The Plant Blind, which debuffs face cards.

    A way around the Plant Boss Blind’s effect is to play hands including mostly (or only) numbered cards. By playing cards numbered 2 through 10, you’ll get around the Plant’s debuff. Another tactic you can use is playing Aces, as they have high base Chips but aren’t face cards.

    The Serpent

    The Serpent looks like a lightning bolt on a forest green circle. In-game, this Boss Blind only lets you draw three cards every time you discard or play a hand. As such, your hand size decreases whenever you play or discard more than three cards.

    For once, discarding or playing weak hands to draw fresh cards is a bad idea. Try to minimize how many cards you toss out—and be more selective in this regard. Having a larger hand size can give you what you need to defeat this Boss Blind in one hand, so try that if the Serpent usually gives you trouble. Jokers that increase hand size and the Paint Brush Voucher (gives +1 to hand size) help a lot against the Serpent.

    The Pillar

    A minimalistic telephone pole on a brown circle depicts the Pillar. This Boss Blind makes all the cards you’ve played so far in the current Ante debuffed. Here’s where paying attention to which Boss Blind you’ll encounter at the beginning of an Ante pays off.

    By skipping the Small Blind and Big Blind in the Ante, you’ll get to the Pillar Boss Blind without playing any cards. As a result, none of your cards will get debuffed, which completely negates the Pillar’s detrimental effect.

    The Needle

    The Needle is shown as a simplistic tennis racket-like object on a dark olive green circle. One of the trickiest Boss Blinds to defeat, the Needle only lets you play one hand this round. However, the round score you need to reach is the same as that of the Small Blind in the current Ante. For example, if you’re in Ante 1 (which has a base score of 300), the Needle Boss Blind only needs a round score of 300 to be cleared.

    As such, if you were able to take down the Small Blind in the Ante by playing only one hand, you’ll be fine going up against the Needle. With that said, sometimes you can get unlucky with card draws. This makes the Needle’s win rate against players higher than many other Boss Blinds, as there’s almost no room for error. Be sure to use your discards to line up a great hand when facing the Needle Boss Blind!

    The Head

    Appearing as a triangular flag pointing to the left on a gray circle, the Head is a Boss Blind that debuffs Heart cards. It makes up a quartet of Boss Blinds that aim to hinder players from focusing on a single suit; the other three being the Club, the Goad, and the Window.

    Avoid playing Hearts against the Head Boss Blind. If that’s not possible, then reduce how many Hearts are in played hands. Once again, use your discards! Get rid of unwanted Hearts as much as you can.

    The Tooth

    The Tooth looks like a capital “W” on a scarlet red circle. Looking to empty your wallet, this Boss Blind makes you lose $1 for every card played. As such, if you play a five-card hard, you’ll lose $5.

    The Tooth Blind which causes the player to lose $1 for every card played.

    Try to clear this Boss Blind in as few hands as possible to retain as much of your cash as you can. While not challenging to overcome, the Tooth can make it hard to upgrade your build after you defeat it. To offset the money loss, try to save up some interest before facing the Tooth Boss Blind or use Jokers that net you high income, like the Golden Joker (which always gives $4 at the end of a round).

    The Flint

    This Boss Blind looks like two acute angles overlapping each other on a bright orange circle. In terms of effect, this one is brutal, as it halves your base Chips and Mult for every hand played. For example, in a played hand, if your base Chips are 100 and your base Mult is 10, the Flint drops your Chips down to 50 and your Mult to 5.

    As a result, regardless of how many Planet Cards you’ve used to level up your Poker Hands, you’ll still need the help of some Jokers to clear this Boss Blind. Pretty much any Joker that gives you Chips and Mult will help against the Flint Boss Blind—particularly those of rare editions like Foil (+50 Chips), Holographic (+10 Mult), and Polychrome (x1.5 Mult).

    The Mark

    Marked with an “X” on a burgundy circle, this Boss Blind causes all face cards to be drawn face down. For builds revolving around face card tactics, the Mark can be a tough challenge. However, those that feature heavy number card (or Ace) play won’t have many problems with this Boss Blind.

    You can also get around the Mark Boss Blind’s effect by sorting the cards in your hand by rank and suit. Doing so lets you make educated guesses on what type of face cards are in your hand despite them being face down. If that doesn’t work, discard as many face-down cards as you can to line up the best hand possible.

    Finisher Boss Blinds

    A player defeating the Cerulean Bell Finisher Boss Blind in Balatro.

    Finisher Boss Blinds are the end-game threats you’ll encounter in Balatro. Each has a symbol that clearly reflects its name. Every eight Antes feature a Finisher Boss Blind. When you take down the one in Ante 8, you’ll have completed a run—although you can keep playing afterward to see how far your build takes you.

    Amber Acorn

    This Finisher Boss Blind flips and shuffles all of your Jokers. This may not always be an issue, but can throw off your plan. If you have Jokers that need to be in a certain order to get you the highest score, the Amber Acorn can be a real pain.

    Note
    Adding Mult before multiplying Mult always leads to much higher round scores. Jokers are scored from left to right, so the order matters only if you have Jokers that add Mult and others that multiply Mult.

    Some Jokers have a unique shape—like the Half Joker—which makes telling your Jokers apart a bit easier if they’re all face down. On top of that, the editions of your Jokers are visible from the back; use that to help tell which of your Jokers is which. Sort them as needed before playing any hands.

    Verdant Leaf

    The Verdant Leaf forces you to part ways with one of your Jokers—otherwise, every single one of your cards will be debuffed. It’s impossible to clear this Finisher Boss Blind with all your cards debuffed, so you must sell a Joker.

    Pick whichever Joker you need the least and sell it to restore your deck to full working condition. If you’re having a hard time deciding which Joker to sell, pick the one that gives you the least Chips and Mult.

    Violet Vessel

    Think of the Violet Vessel as a more dangerous version of the Wall. There is no special effect with the Violet Vessel; this Finisher Boss Blind simply requires x6 the base score of the Ante to be beaten.

    Since you’ll most likely encounter the Violet Vessel in Ante 8 (which has a base score of 50,000), you’ll need to get a round score of 300,000 to achieve victory. Bring your best build to defeat the Violet Vessel—you’ll need it!

    Crimson Heart

    Yet another Finisher Boss Blind intent to mess with your Jokers, the Crimson Heart disables one random Joker during every hand you play. The Crimson Heart may switch which Joker is disabled between hands, but not always.

    The Crimson Heart Finisher Boss Blind from Balatro.

    If you’ve gotten this far in your run, you most likely have multiple useful Jokers. To be blunt, you can’t make it to Ante 8 without them. As such, most builds should be able to get 100,000 (the round score needed to clear most Finisher Boss Blinds in Ante 8) in three or four hands even without one of their Jokers. However, if you don’t think you can, then try to reroll the Boss Blind or disable the Crimson Heart’s effect.

    Cerulean Bell

    Ah, yes, the original Finisher Boss Blind from the Balatro demo. Although the Cerulean Bell has an elegant name and icon, it’s probably the most generally annoying out of the Finisher Boss Blinds, as it always forces one card to be selected. This means—before you get to do anything—the Cerulean Bell selects one card. You must either play a hand that includes that selected card or discard it by itself or among a few others you don’t need.

    This effect can be infuriating if you’re trying to line up a Flush but this Finisher Boss Blind keeps selecting cards that prevent you from doing so. The same goes for other Poker Hands as well. Besides rerolling or disabling the Cerulean Bell’s effect, there’s not much you can do here. You’ll need to rely on luck. While not ideal, it can’t be helped. Luck is integral to games like Balatro, so it makes sense that some Boss Blinds force reliance on it upon you.


    Whether you’re fishing for a Flush, striving for a Straight, or filling out a Full House, defeating Boss Blinds in Balatro can be immensely addicting. If you don’t beat one of the Boss Blinds, remember what went wrong and try again later. It takes time, experience, and good fortune to win in this game. Despite how uncontrollable the workings of RNG can be, there’s always hope. May lady luck bless your next run!

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