High Roller Poker – On the Button

If you are the dealer, you are said to be "on the button". This is the most powerful position pre-flop since, other than the Blind bettors (who have been forced to bet), you are the last to act.

A common, aggressive play, when sitting in this position is to make what is called a "Button Raise".

If there have been no callers from early positions (such calls would suggest better than average hands) and only one caller up to you, it may be worth putting in a button raise to try to drive out the two Blind bettors – who may have terrible cards – and also the caller and steal the pot there and then. Because this tactic often succeeds, players make these raises on all sorts of sub-standard hands. At the very least, you should put in a button raise with any of your 21 starting hands.

Because the tactic is well-known, however, when you see someone making a button raise, you should be suspicious that he may be trying to steal. Of course, you don’t know if he is bluffing or has a seriously good hand – the great advantage of raising is that it injects doubt into the other players’ minds, The result of this situation is that you sometimes get a "double bluff" situation where the Big Blind re-raises the button raiser even without a particularly good hand. If the button raiser was bluffing – whIch is quite often – he probably has to concede at this stage. And so the constant psychological battle begins and, at the poker table, it never ends.

Should you get involved in bluffs and counter-bluffs? Certianly not as a beginner, learn the game first: this is only the beginning of a lifetimes journey. Stick to the low-stake games and you won’t find too many players trying to tie you in knots’ they are all still learning the game themselves.