Button Poker Term

Dealer Button - Button Position

by Jesse Knight


Dealer Button
1. A disk placed in front of the nominal dealer to indicate the order of action.
2. Any of a variety of buttons indicating the state of play (often used in mix games).

There are several different types of buttons used in casino poker games, but the most common is the “dealer button.” The dealer button is often called “the button,” for short. It is used primarily in Flop games and Draw games. These games have clockwise action, which means the betting goes from right to left. In these games, the nominal dealer is the player who will act last after the flop or draw. A plastic disk is placed in front of the nominal dealer to indicate the order of action, and this disk is moved one player to the left before the start of every hand. The blinds are usually posted to the left of the dealer button, but in some games will also be posted on the button.

Having the button is known as "having position" because you have more information than all the other opponents during the hand. A hand like QJ might not look so great from an early position because there are so many players behind you (which means a lot of possibilities), but if all players fold to you on the button then QJ is a pretty powerful hand because you are only facing the two blinds. Having position or being on the button is a huge factor in poker especially in games like Pot Limit.

There are several other buttons used in casino poker games to indicate the state of play. They include, but are not limited to, big blind button, kill button, missed blind button, short buy button, all-in button, overs button, out button, absent button and bank lammars. Generally, buttons are used to remind the dealer and the players about certain playing conditions, that if forgotten would adversely affect the play of the hand. While reminders are helpful, having too many buttons in play will slow the game down. Certain buttons, like the big blind button and the all-in button, state the obvious and need only be used in games populated by extremely unsophisticated players.

Buying the button" is the posting of all owed blinds by a player so that they may be dealt in and receive the button on the subsequent hand. A player may owe blinds for one of two reasons. Either they are a new player and therefore are required to post, or they have missed their blinds. In either case, if they are seated in between the blinds and the button, they may have the option to post all owed blinds, be dealt in, and receive the button on the subsequent hand. This is called “buying the button,” and it is allowed by many, but not all card rooms. If a player chooses to buy the button, they will typically have to post both blinds. The large blind is posted live, and the small blind is posted dead. The players who were originally scheduled to post blinds will delay posting until the subsequent hand, as the player who is buying the button has posted all blinds. This adjustment is necessary to keep the blinds and the button moving around the table in a consistent and fair manner.

If a player chooses not to buy the button, they will have two options They can wait until the button passes, and post behind it, or they can wait until it is their turn to take a big blind. If they choose to post after the button, the big blind would be live, but they would also have to post a dead small blind (Only if they have a missed blind button. New players who wait until the button passes in order to post do not have to post any dead money). If either type of player decides to wait for their big blind to come around again, they would not have to post any dead money.

Some card rooms do not allow players to buy the button. The justification for this is that the rule is confusing, and players will never have to wait more than a hand or two for the button to pass. A majority of card rooms do not take this view, and allow buying of the button. From the house perspective, it is probably never a good idea to make a customer wait to gamble. And as far as some players are concerned, having to wait one hand to be dealt in is one hand too long.

Usage: Dealer Button, Kill Button, Missed Blind Button, On The Button, One Off The Button

Previous Poker Term: Busted
Next Poker Term: Buy


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