What Does Under The Gun Mean In Poker?

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Written by: Matt E.

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Under the gun (UTG) is a position in poker that refers to the player who is the first to act in a hand. It is the player who has to make the first decision in the hand, and it is often considered one of the most difficult positions to play. In this article, we'll explore what it means to be under the gun in poker and how to play the position correctly.

If you are playing texas hold 'em, Under the gun (UTG) is the first person to act preflop, and is sitting to the left of the Big Blind position at the table.

What Does Under the Gun Mean in Poker?

The player under the gun has the least amount of information available to them, as they have not seen any of the other players’ actions or cards. This makes it difficult to make an informed decision, as they must rely on their own instincts and knowledge of the game.

How to Play Under the Gun in Poker?

The key to playing under the gun in poker is to play tight and conservatively. This means that you should play stronger hands in your range, however, it's important to include a few hands that don't make you easily readable.

If you only play AA, KK, and AK under the gun, then you allow other players to play easily against you. You should mix in some other interesting hands such as A5 suited or 89 suited that have a chance to make big hands and will be concealed.

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But generally, you play tighter, because you do not have the benefit of seeing what the other players are doing, so you cannot adjust your strategy accordingly.

Advantages of Being Under the Gun in Poker

Despite the difficulties of playing under the gun in poker, there are some advantages to being in this position. One of the main advantages is that you can often pick up the pot pre-flop if you have a strong hand. This is because you are the first to act, so other players may be reluctant to call or raise your bet.

Another advantage is that you can often pick up additional information before making your decision. For example, if the player to your left is a tight player, you can assume that they are likely to have a strong hand and should adjust your strategy accordingly.

If the player to your left raises your open raise from under the gun, they are likely VERY strong.


Under the gun is a difficult position to play in poker, as the player has to make the first decision in the hand without having any information about the other players’ cards or actions.

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Matt E.

I've been immersed in the world of poker since 2003. Poker is hard. It has undoubtedly been a roller coaster of experiences for me over the years. My poker journey spans from playing at .01/.02 NL tables to engaging in intense sessions at $5/$10. Poker isn't just a game to me—it's a passion. Outmaneuvering opponents in this test of mental strength and strategy offers an unparalleled thrill. To deepen my understanding of the game and to assist others, I initiated this blog. It aims to elucidate the ever-evolving technologies, strategies, and legal landscapes of poker, especially in the online realm. We're now in the age of solvers, but both online and live poker continue to thrive. A quick visit to a local $1/3 game would be ample evidence of its vitality. Regardless of your proficiency level, from novice to expert, I hope my blog posts offer you valuable insights. Feel free to engage with me through messages or by commenting on my posts. Cheers!

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