Using a Button in Poker
The button (or dealer button) is the small circular object that is placed on the table to indicate the order of play. In poker, automatic bets are used in games to increase the temptation for players to get involved in the hand and ensure money is in the pot. After all, the more action, the better the game to watch and play in. Without automatic bets, players would simply wait for the top hands before they play. To get round this there are two automatic bets that need to be posted, the big and small blind. The big blind is usually twice the value of the small blind and all players take a turn to post both the small and big blinds.
In any game, the dealer button is used to keep track of who's turn it is to post these bets. The button goes round the table clockwise with the player immediately on the left of the dealer, posting the small blind. The next seat to the left of the small blind would post the big blind. In essence these automatic bets ensure that there is some money in the pot. Once the hand is over, the dealer would move one place clockwise round the table. The person who was on the big blind would then post the small blind.
In most poker tournaments, the blinds steadily increase throughout the game (see tournament blinds structure) so as the tournament progresses, players need to play more hands or risk their stack dwindling away paying the blinds.
Being on the 'button' also gives a player the most benefit as they're the last to act in any one hand. This is a benefit as last to act gets to see what everyone does before having to make a decision on whether to play the hand. The button also represents the best place to steal blinds, especially if there has been no action before you.
It's common for players not to give much credit to raises from players in this position. If you're table image is an aggressive one, raising from the button will just look like you are trying to steal the blinds and players will be more likely to defend their blinds with marginal hands. Of course this can be used to you're advantage - a reason why table image is so important.
It's also an idea to read our guide on the importance of table position in a hand of poker.
Next Definition : Player Action - to call a bet
Important Beginners Guides..
Read this no nonsense guide on how to play poker - covering the basics and game play. Perfect for those starting out.
A no nonsense guide on how to play poker. Ideal for beginners looking to learn how to play Texas Hold'em.
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