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Geoff Fisk

Who Bets First in Poker Before & After the Flop?


In poker, the order in which players act is a huge part of the game. If you’re first to act with several players behind you, you’re at a significant disadvantage.

Conversely, if you’re last to act in a round of Texas Hold’em or Omaha, you get to see what all other players in the hand do before your turn comes around. 

Who bets first in poker before and after flop? Let’s take a look at the rules of the game:

Who Bets First Preflop In Poker?

This article covers the topic of who bets first in the preflop and postflop rounds in Texas Hold’em and Omaha, the two most popular poker games played at the Lodge and around the world.

In these games, each hand begins with the players in the small blind and big blind positions posting mandatory bets. The dealer then deals hole cards to each player.

In the preflop betting round, the player to the direct left of the big blind is first to act. That player must decide to either call the big blind amount, raise to a higher amount, or fold.

The first-to-act player in the preflop betting round is in a table position called Under the Gun (UTG). After that player acts, the next player to the left acts, and so on.

This way of determining which player bets first preflop applies to all Hold’em/Omaha games with three or more players.

In heads-up poker (a poker game with just two players), the player in the small blind acts first.

When you’re sitting in a poker game at the Lodge, and you want to determine where you are in the preflop betting order, look for the big blind. Remember that the player to the direct left of the big blind position acts first, and the action flows clockwise from there.

Who Bets First in Poker? Poker table positions chart
The UTG player always acts first preflop in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Who Bets First After the Flop In Poker?

All betting rounds after the preflop round are known as postflop betting rounds. These rounds include the flop, the turn, and the river.

In all postflop betting rounds, the action begins with the player in the small blind if they’re still in the hand. If the small blind player has folded in a previous round, the action begins with the next live player to the left of the small blind.

The small blind position is one of the hardest to play from in a poker hand, as that player is at a positional disadvantage to everyone else in the hand in all postflop betting rounds.

The Button (BTN) position is the most profitable position to play from, as it always acts last in all postflop betting rounds. 

For more on how poker table positions, the blinds, and the button work, check out this article from Upswing Poker:

Who Goes First in Texas Hold’em Poker?

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