Table Position Terms

Your position at a poker table is referred to by many different terms. There are five specific terms that are commonly used to describe a specific position in relation to the button, illustrated below.

Table position names
  • "Dealer", "Dealer's Button", or "Button": This is the best possible position since the player will be the last to act on the flop, turn, and river.
  • "Under the Gun": This is the first player to take an action preflop. This player is to the left of the big blind. Being under the gun is considered to be the worst position in holdem. In its defense, it is a lousy position, but a player under the gun will actually have a better position post-flop than the blinds.
  • "Big Blind": This is the player to the left of the small blind unless the game is heads-up.
  • "Small Blind": This player is directly to the left of the dealer's button unless the game is heads-up.
  • "Cutoff": This is the player to the right of the button. It is called the cutoff because that position often "cuts off" the dealer's ability to steal blinds by betting.
  • "Hijack": This is the player to the right of the cutoff. At a full table it functions a lot like the cutoff position.
  • It should be noted that when play is heads-up, the player on the button is the small blind and the other player is the big blind. The other unnamed positions are commonly referred to in relation to the dealer's button or the player under the gun, whichever is closer. The player to the left of the player under the gun might say he's "To the left of the gun" or "Under the gun plus one".

    Another way that position is described is by the terms "early position", "middle position", and "late position". These terms are often abbreviated "EP", "MP", and "LP". Players in early position are some of the first to act in a betting round, like the player who is under the gun. "Late position" players are some of the last to act in a betting round, like the cutoff seat and the player on the button. "Middle position" is naturally the players in between. These terms are often used when the table is full with nine or ten players. Once play gets down to a few players, it can become confusing to describe what middle position actually is.

    Table positions

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