"Button" position in poker
In poker, word ''button'' means a position at the table that indicates the participant who will be the dealer. The dealer's position is represented by a plastic button or chip, which moves clockwise from one player to another in each hand (in a standard game), thus everyone gets the opportunity to deal the cards.
However, in a casino, cards are dealt by a special employee. It is done for the players’ convenience - they can focus on the game. However, the ''button'' or ''dealer'' chip remains an important concept since it defines a small and a big blind. The small blind (SB) is to the left of the button and the big blind (BB) is to the left of the small blind.
Order of positions at the poker table
Once the cards are dealt, preflop decisions are made by the players sitting after the blinds. The button, SB and BB are the last who take the turn. The player on the button is the last participant who makes the decision on the postflop. This means that the button has a significant advantage – he/her is able to see what decisions were made by the players sitting before him and then - take his/her own decision. Therefore, the button may often get the pot that no one claims, as well as steal the preflop blinds (even having a weak hand). This is a very strong and most preferred position at the poker table.
Let's consider examples of the hands on the ''button'' position:
Example 1: AKQ come out on the flop. There are 9 players left in the game. The button has A9. The player in early position bets 500. A raise and then a re-raise follow after his bet. The button has a top pair, but he may easily determine that he is behind in the hand, therefore he folds. The button can also use its position to take a pot that no one claims.
Example 2: 3 players are involved in the postflop hand. The flop is 573. The button has AJ and the players sitting before him check. He didn’t hit the flop but still decides to make a bet. The remaining 2 players fold and the button takes the pot. The button may also use its positional advantage to steal the preflop blinds.
Example 3: the button has J4 offsuit and the players sitting before him fold on the preflop. He understood that opponents on the SB and the BB are weak-tight. The button makes a bet equal to 3x of the big blind and both players fold. Thus, he used the positional advantage to get the blinds despite he had a weak hand.
It is worth noting that you are able to play out a lot of cards in the "button" position. Let's look at the appropriate range to play out the hands:
- All KXs и QXs
- Double gappers 96s+
- Gappers (semi-connectors) 86s+
- Connectors 34s+
- K9o, Q9o, J9o, T9o+
Of course, this range will depend on the situation, but the point is, you need to enter the pot with a wider range.
Let's summarize the advantages of playing on the button:
- Late position allows you to get information on how the opponents, sitting before you, played.
- The ''button'' position allows you to enter the pot with a wider range of hands.
- You are able to steal the blinds, even with weak cards, as well as get the pot that no one claims.
Use this position correctly and you will see the positive ending of the game for yourself.