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Under the Gun Position in Poker


Poker Basics: Learn More About Under the Gun (UTG) Position

Poker’s “under the gun” position equates to someone in the earliest seat if you are playing at scr8888. This person should act first. Its abbreviation is UTG.

When it comes to Omaha, Texas Hold’em or those other games with blinds, the UTG is the person positioned at the left side of the big blind.

Right after the flop, the UTG player will be the third one to act, next to the big and small blind. Moreover, the player in this seat  can also act as the shorthand for other early positions.

What are UTG’s disadvantages?

The person in this position is forever under pressure. All the players await your play, prior to the flop. You, on the other hand, have no idea what the other players are thinking or planning. You know nothing about the hand strength of the other individuals you are playing with.

Before the flop, all players have an opportunity to raise, call, fold or raise right after the under the gun position. You wouldn’t know whether they will be raising, folding or calling.

Once you raise UTG, all of the others will see this as an indication of a competitive hand. They may decide to fold, so it’s possible that you will not get any action. In case you get anything, this will be from those who also feel that they have a strong, competitive hand.

The UTG player may still be in an early position after the flop. However, he may act third or second if the blinds are still at hand.

How to play in the UTG position?

If you ended up being in the under the gun seat or any other early position, you may want to utilize a stricter strategy. You need to think if you will raise or call value hands.

But, you should note that other players will expect a stricter play from your position, and their own play. Many strategists will advise to raise under the gun all the time, rather than call.

Are you playing tight? You can bet aggressively, or basically fold instead of calling. When you bet aggressively, you can allow the one in the big blind position to limp in, and get help from the lucky flop.

Are you short-stacked? Being in the UTG position is a great opportunity to steal the blinds, and go all-in, especially if you have a good hand.

Are you in a game that allows straddling? If yes, being in the UTG position is often very limiting.

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