To understand what UTG is, the best thing to do is to know the meaning of its acronym. UTG stands for "Under The Gun". If we want to translate the term we can realize that the meaning would be "the player who is under the gun". It may seem a very striking expression, but when you find yourself in the situation -which we will explain below- you will realize that the pressure suffered is very high. Almost as if you were being held at gunpoint.
We have already mentioned in the introduction of this article about UTG poker that these acronyms would come to mean in English something like "under the gun". The origin of this term is not known with certainty, since there are two theories that are contemplated.
The first one refers to the pressure to which UTG players are subjected, who must act without knowing what the rest of the players will do behind him.
The second theory about the origin of UTG poker says that this expression was born in the beginning of poker, in much shadier and insecure environments where the dealer himself would take out a gun to point it at the first player to speak if he perceived suspicions that he was committing irregularities in his game.
The answer is very simple, as it is the first to speak when the poker game begins. Although it may seem exaggerated, the truth is that you will feel great pressure because you will only have a couple of cards in your hand and you will have the whole table behind you. Nobody knows what the others have, but the real problem is you because you have to start and you will not know what move to make. Everything is unknown in this situation and even more so when there are many players at the table. Let's suppose that the table is full and there are a total of 9 players at the table. The chances of having high pairs such as AA, QQ, KK, JJ or AK will be 20%. And if we look for pairs higher than 7 it translates that the probability will be 60%. With that idea, we realize the pressure and the probability of winning is not very high. Especially, if the future plays do not go with us.
Now you have put yourself in the worst and it is time to make a decision to start the game. I'm sure you're wondering, should I fold in this position? The quick answer would be yes. Normally what we will do is to fold the hand from the UTG in poker. But sometimes the following exceptions may occur:
Powerful hand: if you have a powerful hand, you will most likely go.
Number of blinds: in case the blinds are big and are at 20% of the stack we have, it could be an interesting option to extend the range of the hand. With a good one it is worth to go ahead because it will not be easy to get a favorable hand again. Perfect for combinations such as JJ, AJ, or KQ among others. In case the blind is higher than 35% of the stack, it could be an option to open with 2/3 of the hand. That is to say, two paired figures or a pair higher than 7.
Pair of hand: in the case of having a pair higher than TT, it is recommended to match the big blind. It will depend on the percentage of risk that we will have to assume according to the stack we have at that moment.
Bluffing: if you want to take a gamble and bluff, then you will have to bet on the UTG.
Playing from Under The Gun is not always easy. After all, from this position you will be under pressure to act first preflop, without knowing what the other players will do, so it is difficult to know if the right thing to do is to call, fold or raise, since you will be at a disadvantage with respect to the rest of the players at the table.
To make it easier for you to develop the game we are going to give you a series of tips that will help you to better understand the table, what is happening on it and how to react.
For example, if you have a powerful hand, don't hesitate and raise the bet. Keep in mind that if you make that move, someone else may raise or even go all-in. You have to have all the possibilities in mind to be sure that you are making a good move. For that reason, if you have a vitally important hand, we recommend you not to be hesitant. Even the all-in in some cases may be the best idea, especially if we are in a desperate situation and the hand seems to be in our favor.
Another option may be to look for the call as long as the cost-benefit ratio may seem interesting at a given moment. With this we can conclude that UTG in poker leads to assume many risks because you do not know which moves are the most optimal. Everything is learned with practice. Moreover, if you find yourself several times in this situation you will become an intuitive person that will help you make the right decisions on a good handful of occasions. But it is important to keep in mind that probabilities are important and, at the end of the day, they rule.
To avoid problems, it is recommended to start playing with play money. And when you are getting practice, the best thing to do is to start with bonuses and then play with real money. To avoid losing money in large amounts, you should always avoid starting to play with real money. It is true that with fictitious money you will not win if you have a good hand, but you will not lose it either. It is the best option to reduce the risk of making rookie mistakes.
It is important to keep in mind that with UTG you will be the first person to talk. Right behind you there will be other players who will be waiting for you to make a mistake to take advantage. Analyze the situation well to avoid such mistakes.
Always play the best hands to defend yourself. That way you will be able to have a better defense when playing without any position.
The first position is always the play in which there are 5 or more players behind without having spoken.
If you find yourself in the game with few pieces, it may be a good option to extend the rank because you have less to lose. Remember, analyzing the situation is really important to know what decision to make.
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