Under the Gun

word type: adjective

  1. Acting first during the preliminary round of betting before the flop. The person who is under the gun is seated to the left of the big blind or three seats to the left of the dealer.


The idiom "under the gun" means to be under great pressure. In poker, the player who is under the gun faces greater pressure than the players at other positions, all things being equal, because he has the least amount of time to make his decision, as he acts first pre-flop, and has a more difficult decision to make since he does not know what anybody else has done yet.

Disadvantage of Being Under the Gun

First to act pre-flop, the player under the gun has no information about anyone else's hand, as he has not seen what they are going to do. This player is always at risk of getting raised. After the flop, the player in this position only gets to see what the blinds do before he acts, so he is still at a huge disadvantage.

Advantage of Being Under the Gun

The player in this position can sometimes lay a trap for an opponent, playing a strong hand weak and waiting for someone to raise, only to re-raise them back. Being out of position is often a good spot to be in to allow an overly aggressive player to do all the betting, thinking they have the best hand. Additionally, short stacked players can sometimes go all-in better under the gun, as it will be more difficult for opponents to call the bet with no chips having already been committed.