Starting Hands Late Position.

On the button, and in the position just to the button’s right (and sometimes in the position two to the button’s right), much of what is correct play is quite different from what we have seen in the early and middle positions.

In general you should play aggressively if the pot is short-handed, unless the blinds and the remaining players are loose. If the pot is already multiway, however, you should be less aggressive unless you hold a hand that plays well in multiway pots.

Unraised Pot.

When you are the first one in – almost any hand that you decide to play should be raised. Hands from Groups 1-7 and maybe Group 8, and even worse hands if you think your opponents are tight enough that you have a good chance to steal the blinds.

  1. Typical game – Group 1-7 (Maybe Group 8 and worse)
  2. Loose-Passive – Group 1-7
  3. Loose-Agressive – Group 1-7
  4. Tight-PassiveGroup 1-7 (Suited connectors play better in passive games)
  5. Tight-Agressive (Tough game) – Group 1-7

Unraised Pot With Caller(s).

Raise only with hands from Groups 1-3 and sometimes with Group 4 hands (except if there are many players, do not raise with unsuited high cards, but conversely be somewhat inclined to raise with hands as weak as Group 5 if they are straight flush combinations).


Several players in. You hold: – it is probably best is just to call (if there has not yet been a raise).

On the other hand, when in the same situation you have and no one has yet raised, then you should probably raise. (Consider your opponents before raising.) Part of the reason for making this raise is to entice your opponents to continue on if you happen to get a flop to your liking. Another reason to raise is if you think it may “buy you the button.” Being able to act last on succeeding betting rounds is a major advantage. Thus with marginal hands it may be worth raising if you think it will take that raise to get the button to fold.

Sometimes you can raise with some weaker hands in late position. This opportunity arises when you are against one or two callers who play poorly and did not enter the pot from the early positions (and thus probably have weak hands). If you have a playable hand that would prefer to play against a small number of opponents, and you believe that your raise will fold everyone out behind you, then you should raise. This would include hands like A7s, KJ, QJ, and even a hand as weak as QT. However, if you don’t think that everyone behind you will fold, you should not make this play and even consider folding some of these hands (QJ and QT).

One of the reasons for this type of raise is that against weak opposition (and, as usual, you always should consider your opponents when making your playing decisions), it allows you to “take control” of the pot. That is, if your opponents do not flop a hand, and you bet (Especilly after high card flops) they have checked, you often will be able to pick up the pot. In addition, if you choose not to bet on the flop, your raise may have gained you a free card.


You hold:


If you opponent have not flopped anything he is likely to check-fold. You can perform same play with suited connector or small pair.

  1. Typical game – Group 1-7 (Maybe Group 8 and worse)
  2. Loose-Passive – Group 1-7
  3. Loose-Agressive – Group 1-7 (Dont reraise with suited connectors.)
  4. Tight-PassiveGroup 1-7 (Suited connectors play better in passive games)
  5. Tight-Agressive (Tough game) – Group 1-7

Raised Pot.

To call a raise cold you still need a very good hand, even in late position. With many players before you – you can play 109s and 88. If you can anticipate 5 players + you can play smaller pairs down to 22. You can also do this if you think you have a good implied odds on that play. If the raise is from a middle position or later you can play a few more hands if the raiser is the first one in and does not play well. (Being first in means that he is more likely to be raising with a weak hand because he may be trying to steal the blinds.) However, you still need to be cautious and never play a hand like A10. In addition, almost always reraise with any Group 1 hand, and as before, be prepared to reraise with hands as weak as AQ, 99, or 88 if it is a “loose raiser.”

If the pot is not multiway and you are against a legitimate raise you can occasionally make it three bets with a medium pair or a hand like JTs. You don’t need to be in a late position to make this play, but it is probably a little better if you are. A play like this is occasionally correct because if you only make it three bets with AK or a big pair you are giving away too much information. (Dont do it against not observant players and players who go far with their hands.)
Another time when you would almost always reraise with weaker hands, even those as weak as Group 4. When your opponent is the first one in “from a late position and he enters the pot with a raise. Notice that your opponent may be trying to steal the blinds, so a reraise on your part, with reasonably strong hands, becomes correct. Exception is AJ and KQ, reraise with a Group 4 hand only if your opponent is a weak
player and you believe you have excellent control over him.
Otherwise, you are probably better off to limit yourself to Groups 1-3. If neither you nor your opponent flops a hand, your reraise not only may stop him from trying to steal the pot, but also may allow you to do the stealing. So again, the correct play on your part is to either reraise or fold before the flop. It is almost never correct to just call.

  1. If you against someone who will quickly release on the flop or someone who will check it down if they have any doubt over their han you can reraise with pairs down to 44. This usually means a solid player who is winning in the game (not on tilt), or an extremely weak player.
  2. If you hold a hand like KT, QT or JT and a couple of players have called from early or middle position, you should often throw it away. This would be particularly true if one of the limpers plays well. (You dont want to have 2nd best hand). Against bad players who will come with many hands they
    are definitely playable.
  3. If you are dead last – that is, if you are on the button – and there are already callers, you can play hands in Groups 1-7.
  4. If you have a small pair and are against four or more callers, the correct play is to sometimes raise. This is another example of making the
    pot larger so that if you hit your hand, your opponents may be more inclined to call you with just overcards on the flop. In addition, they all may check to you, thus giving you a free card and another (small) chance to make your set. Also, this play is sometimes correct with small suited connectors. Again, don’t get carried away with these plays. But making them occasionally can be very effective.
  5. If you are on the button, not raised multiway pot, you can call with many additional hands. This includes those hands in Group 8 and even hands as weak as Q5s. The reason for this is the tremendous implied odds that you will be getting if the flop comes just as you would like it to come.
    However, don’t take this idea too far. It is unlikely that it would ever be correct to call with a hand like 96.

With a hand like an ace with an unsuited weak kicker, you still should raise the blinds if they are either very tight or very weak players. When we say weak, we are referring to a player who will let your ace win in a showdown. For example, suppose you raise with something like A6 and are called by the blind. If this person is willing to check on the river with nothing, even if you show weakness by not betting on the
turn, then he is the type of player you would be happy to play a lone ace against.
The same caveat applies to a hand like Kx, but even more so.
That is, against typical opposition, usually pass with Kx. However, if you do play a hand like Kx on the button, make sure that you always raise. Never just call the blind if you are the first one in.
(There is an exception to always raising with Ax or Kx if you play them first in on the button when you are playing Short-Handed or when the Blinds are Very Loose.


  1. How To Use Your Position In Poker?
  2. How To Raise In Hold ’em Correctly?
  3. How To Play Heads-Up Versus Multiway?
  4. Types Of Poker Players And How To Play Against Them?
  5. How To Play Blinds (With Starting Hands Charts)
  6. How To See A Free Card In Hold-em?
  7. What Are Pot Odds And How To Count It?
  8. How To Count Odds And Implied Odds?
  9. How To Avoid Tilting In Poker?
  10. How To Play Short-Handed. Common Mistakes After Switching From Full Table Game?

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