Under The Gun in Poker


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The player's position has a huge bearing on the winnability of a hand. Most good players play the majority of their hand in position. It, therefore, becomes imperative that one learns the advantages and disadvantages of being placed in different positions on the table and how to leverage it to their best.

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What does the term under the gun mean in poker?

It is typically used to refer to a player seated directly to the player's left in the big blind position. The name is derived from the simple understanding that such a player is under immense pressure to make a strong action in the game.

What is the significance of under the gun?

· The player in this position will be the first to act in the pre-flop stage.

· The player in this position will be the third to act in post-flop (assuming that the small and big blind are still playing).

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Strategic considerations that under the gun players must keep in mind

· Avoid limp raising at all costs – not only is this an unsustainable long-term strategy, but also, you run the chance of weakening your open raising range.

· Open raise a very tight selection of hands.

· The other players will have a positional advantage over the player under the gun after the pre-flop stage.

· The under-the-gun player must restrain their aggression when holding small pocket pairs like two twos or two threes as they aren’t valuable. Both hands play best for set value, meaning that one will toss them if they do not hit on the flop. Since that gives you less equity overall, it is advisable to tone down the preflop pot-building with small pocket pairs when under the gun.

· One can play a little loose in the turn and river stage on learning about the ranges of the other players on the table.

· Be flexible when you are under the gun.

· Lean towards value plays and avoid speculative bluffs.

· The ideal range of hands one can play with at this position –

o Ace-king off-suit

o Ace Queen suited

o Pairs which are above eight in rank/ value.


Though early positions are seen as the worse positions in a poker game (due to lack of information about the opponents’ play), one mustn't give up and plan how to use the position to their advantage. Under the gun is not the best position to play from, neither is it the worst. Practice and a lot of planning will help you turn the game in your favour. Just persevere!


What is under the gun in poker?

  • Under the gun (UTG) is the player sitting immediately to the left of the big blind and is the first to act before the flop.

What are the challenges of playing under the gun?

  •  Playing UTG requires a tight and selective hand range, as there are many players left to act who can have strong hands.

How does position affect the UTG player's decisions?

  • Being UTG is a disadvantageous position because players act after you, making it difficult to bluff or play speculative hands.

What is the best strategy for playing under the gun?

  •  UTG players should play strong hands like pairs, broadway cards, and strong aces, while avoiding marginal hands or speculative hands.

How do players adjust their strategy when under the gun?

  • UTG players need to adjust their strategy based on the table dynamics, their opponents' tendencies, and their own image at the table.
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