Everyone who has played poker at least once watched the game or started to master it must have come across such a concept as a button. By and large, this definition has two meanings, but both of them are related to the position.
In online poker, the button is the player’s position at the poker table, and at the same time, the participant in this position is also called the dealer in the offline game.
In both real-life and online poker variants, there is always a dealer chip. Note that all positional and ordinal calculations are made in relation to this player, the big and small blinds being one example of it.
Every poker player, especially a beginner with a little playing experience, needs to know who the button is but also understand all the details about this position and its advantages at the playing table. This is what we will discuss today.
Let’s start with the basics – what is a button in real-life poker in any land-based casino. So the button is a name of a person who deals cards, and if you play in any gambling house, your button does not deal cards, this is done by the dealer or the croupier (not the player), but the button chip is given to one of the table participants. The chip moves clockwise from one player to another on each new round and is used to determine the big and small blinds.
In Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Lowball, Draw Poker and Badugi Poker variations, where there is no separate dealer, the position of the button is also indicated by the “dealer” chip, moves clockwise and serves as a reference point for all other positions at the table. Each of the participants present at the table can be a button in online poker.
As you remember, the player with the small blind (one of the mandatory bets) is the first to receive cards – they are the first to the left of the button, but the button is the last one to receive cards in the dealing.
The Dealer or Button chip itself is needed to maintain order, or in other words, to keep the queue for issuing cards to players and making decisions. Remember that with each new distribution, the position, so to speak, of the button passes to a new participant – the first from the left, and then they act according to a new position.
Professional online poker players use different game strategies, and each of them takes into account the player’s position at the preflop stage and in the further trading process. So it is the position of the button that is considered the best of all.
Let’s look at the positions of the players at the poker table. They are listed below in order from left to right of the dealer:
Now let’s take a better look at the advantage of the button (dealer) position in poker:
The advantages start from the first round of the game – the preflop – the button does not need to make any of the mandatory bets but is one of the last ones to make a decision on further actions since, after the button, only two players have their turn – the blinds. This means that the player with the dealer’s chip sees the current situation at the table very well – they know who is in the game, who folded cards and can see the first reaction of the players to their starting hands. All this gives them the opportunity to make the right decision for themselves.
At the flop after-flop stages, it is the button that makes the last decision in hand the blinds decide first, and after them, the players in early and middle positions. So in the next rounds of betting, the dealer has an excellent overview of the situation and is more confident in making the moves.
The position of the button is very often difficult to predict for opponents since they also understand the advantageous priorities of the player with the dealer chip. This means that they are playing a rather cautious, accurate game against them. But in the case of the so-called loose players, the button itself also needs to be careful – since these can enter the draw with any cards from any position on the table.
So, let’s sum up – the position of the button is present both in the real-life poker format and in online poker rooms. It is this position that determines the rest of the positions in poker throughout the game. The button goes clockwise to a new player with each new hand, moving both the two blinds and the rest of the positions. That is, every player at the table can be the dealer.
The button can better assess the situation and make the optimal decision for himself. The dealer’s position is considered the most convenient, and it is the position game that is one of the foundations of all strategies. So if you properly master all the subtleties of the dealer’s spot and manage to use them correctly in the game, you will surely be able to achieve good results. And maybe wins at major poker tournaments.
Many beginners, unfortunately, cannot assess their own position at the table because they do not have an understanding of the specifics of the game on it. Beginners are also intimidated by the variety of approaches and techniques that professionals offer. You should know that the button gets a key role in regular poker, at least at the decision-making stage during the trade. In simple terms, in any dealing, this place is considered the most profitable. But in order to use its advantages competently, you need to familiarise yourself with certain rules.
So, at the preflop stage, the player on the button is among the first ones to make moves, and this fact should be taken into account when planning further actions. In fact, there are only two principles – stealing the blinds and aggressive behaviour. The second technique is not always appropriate in the early stages, so it is the first one that is worth using. The position itself is most appropriate for loose play. It will not be difficult to expand the range of cards to enter the pot and increase the number of tricks in the draw from this spot at the table.