According to Wikipedia lead is defined as

The player who makes the last bet or raise in a round of betting is said to have the lead at the start of the next round. Can also be used as a verb meaning to bet out into the pot, "to lead into the pot."

Does having the lead at the start of the next round mean you get to be the person who bets first? If that's the case, I thought a new betting round always starts with the first player left of the dealer regardless of the betting behaviours of the players in the previous rounds. What does lead exactly mean, and how is it used?

  • And when you open betting having lead the prior round that is called a continuation bet.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 31, 2017 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


It's best explained using examples:

Let's say there are 9 players at the table and the action begins:

  • UTG raises
  • UTG + 1 and UTG + 2 both call
  • UTG + 3 makes a 3-bet
  • Hijack, Cut-Off, Button and the blinds all fold
  • UTG, UTG + 1 and UTG + 2 all call the 3-bet

So now, the players in the pot are: UTG, UTG + 1, UTG + 2 and UTG + 3.

Because UTG + 3 was the last aggressor in that round (he made the 3-bet, the others just called), it means that he has the lead in the next round. This does not violate the order in which the players act, they still act in the same order (first player left of the dealer).

OK, now we go to the next round of betting:

Usually, what you would see in such situations is that UTG, UTG + 1 and UTG + 2 all check to the guy in the UTG + 3 position (the one who has the lead). If, at this moment, he bets, then it's said that he made a continuation bet, sometimes abbreviated as c-bet.

However, sometimes this does not happen: if the UTG checks, but the guy in the UTG + 1 bets (a.k.a. BEFORE the UTG + 3 guy has the chance to act), then it is said that the guy in the UTG + 1 seat leads out. This means that, by betting, he takes away the lead from the UTG + 3 guy.

  • and UTG+1 is considered to have made a donk bet, I get it :)
    – Theo
    Mar 23, 2013 at 20:29
  • 1
    in addition, the one that bet first in the last round, is the one that shows his/her cards first (at showdown).
    – amigal
    Mar 24, 2013 at 7:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.