Under the Gun Position in Poker Explained

Under the Gun Poker Position
Under the Gun Poker Position

If you have just started playing poker, you will need to get familiar with the term, 'Under the gun'. In this article, we will learn the definition, meaning, and how to play being 'Under the gun'.

Meaning and Definition of Under the Gun Position

Under the gun poker position or UTG refers to the position left to the Big Blind. This is the player in a hand who acts first in the pre-flop betting round.

In a game like Texas Hold'em or Omaha, the compulsory small and big blinds are placed and the hole cards (two cards) are distributed to each player. After this, the betting rounds begin. The first betting round starts with the player on the left of the Big blind, the position called Under The Gun. This player is the first one to have the choice to call, raise or fold.

Since there is a lot of pressure to act before everyone else in the game, hence the term 'Under the Gun.'

Example of Under the Gun Position

In the image above, Edison has the dealer button, Emily is the Small Blind, Player is the Big blind and Isabella is Under the Gun.

How to Play Being 'Under the Gun'

It is recommended to play a tight game from this position.

When you are under the gun, it is better to have a small range of hands that you should play with. For example, if you have ♠️A ♠️10, then you should not raise.

A player at the Button or one who is third from the Big blind might raise a hand like this after seeing how other players have played, but since Under the Gun player has a positional disadvantage of playing first, it is wise to keep your game tight for the ongoing hand.

To gain an advantage at UTG position, it is essential to play conservatively in preflop and flop with a good and tight range of hands, and then play a little loose in the Turn and River once you are more aware of the card range others may have.

Ideal Range of hands

The range of hands you can play with while you're UTG are:

  1. AK Off-suit
  2. AQ suited
  3. Pairs - 88+

This is a tight range, but it's better to be safe than sorry. However, sometimes you can bend the rules and play as the game commands.

Thumb Rule

Keep your calm when you're Under the Gun, as it's only temporary.

As the dealer button moves to the left in the next hand, the player next to you is Under the Gun, and you can play at the Big Blind position with a huge positional advantage.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee