Guide to Poker Buttons and Blinds

What is a Dealer Button and what is it for?

When playing online poker, a non-playing dealer does the actual dealing of the cards. To make things fair, every player on the table will have a chance to hold the dealer button. It is indicated by a round disk and the player with the dealer button has what is called the dealer position and will be the last to receive cards when the cards are dealt.

The reason for this is so that the player with the button has the advantage of being the last to act after the flop. The button will continue to move clockwise around the table after each round, giving each player a chance to have the advantage of last action.

What are Blinds and how do they work?

Blinds are forced blind bets made by specific players to stimulate action and initiate play in poker. Depending on the type of poker game, as well as the limit, the blind structure will vary but the concept remains the same.

There is the Small Blind and the Big Blind and both blinds are posted before players receive their cards. The Small Blind is posted by the player immediately to the left of the dealer button and the Big Blind is posted by the player immediately to the left of the Small Blind. As the Dealer Button moves clockwise, so do the blinds. Once the cards are dealt, the betting round begins and the first player to the left of the blinds gets first action.

Subsequently, after the flop, the player to the left of the dealer button (or the player who posted the Small Blind) will be the first to act. Do remember that blinds are part of a player’s bet. Subsequent players after the blinds can choose to call or raise.

What is a Straddle?

The straddle is essentially a blind raise. The player to the left of the Big Blind can choose to straddle by doubling the Big Blind before the hole cards are dealt. It is usually used to make the game more exciting and increase the size of the pot.

The Texas Hold’em live straddle on Natural8 allows any player on the table to make a straddle before the hole cards are dealt, not just the player to the left of the Big Blind. Once a straddle is made, players are given a limited time to post another straddle bet or even go all-in (this is called the “No-Look-All-In”).

Now that you’re familiar with buttons, blinds and the straddle you can improve your poker game by checking out some of our other useful poker guides and poker tips below.