In games with a small blind and big blind structure, I've always thought that the blinds are a kind of fee you pay to be allowed to see the next round of hands until your next blind. Therefore, I always try to leave a game after I've just played "under the gun" and am about to be the big blind.

Recently, someone in my game said that they thought it was rude to leave in that position. I can see it being rude when you're about to be the small blind because that would screw up the next pot with a dead small blind. Is it rude to leave from UTG?

  • 6
    They were probably trying to get you to stay. Poker plays do that kind of thing all the time.
    – k to the z
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 17:59
  • I leave when I will be dealer next turn :)
    – ajax333221
    Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 0:08
  • Lets say it is a friendly game and you agree to shut it down at exactly 11:00 PM - no hands started after 11:00 PM. If you close out at 10:55 PM to escape a BB then they have a beef. If you close out at 10:00 PM on UTG because you need to get home then fair play.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 19:09

9 Answers 9


No, it is absolutely not rude to leave from UTG. Frankly, it a crazy suggestion. What right does anyone have other than yourself to compel you to spend your own money against your will! From any position, it's still your money. I'd suggest they were the rude one for proposing it.

Not only is it fine, it's strategically best as it minimizes the cost per hand relative to the blinds, by seeing the whole round.

  • 3
    I think this is true for most games where you post a blind when you sit down. If you are playing a "friendly" game where that is not required then I can see how leaving from that position would be considered rude. But even there if you have been at the table for several rounds, and you are actually leaving not just taking break for a few hands, I agree.
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 13:50

When you sit down, one of three things happens: 1) You pay the big blind because you are in that seat, and then start playing. 2) You wait one or more turns until the big blind comes around to you, and then start playing. 3) If you want to start playing immediately, out of position, you "post" an amount equivalent to the big blind bet to get into the game. (This acts a "second" big blind bet.)

In any case, you've "paid your way" until the big blind comes around to you. So it's not rude to leave when it does, and you have to "start" another round.

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    That been true of the limit games I've played. Often in NL you do not have to post. Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 11:53

In 15+ years of playing in casinos and home games, I have never encountered a rule regarding when one can leave the table. Also, in looking at Robert's Rules of Poker by Bob Ciaffone, I can find no rule regarding when one can leave a game.

So, you can get up and leave a table anytime you choose to and it's not rude. Leaving from UTG is a good plan as you don't waste a round of blinds.

  • Something being against the rules and being considered rude is not the same thing. Although I agree with most that should be neither.
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 10:25

When else would you leave a cash game? By paying a round of blinds, you've paid for the right to play a round of hands. If you don't want to play another round of hands, don't pay another set of blinds.

Always be wary of players who say it's rude to not throw your money away.


You are correct. The blinds are usually paid in advance by either waiting for the button or posting from somewhere in the middle. Therefore, the optimal money management is to leave after your UTG hand.

That said, if the game you are playing in is a private game and the players and/or host don't like you leaving in that spot, you probably have a decision to make. You can save your blinds and risk not being invited back to the game or you can pay the blinds before leaving.


You can leave a game (permanently) at any time. We're not talking about taking a few hands off to take a smoke - if someone does that in my game, they post their blinds automatically.

The only (unwritten) rule we have in our game about leaving is that it's not cool to win a giant pot and then get up right away and leave the game. Of course, some of the players win a giant pot, fold for an orbit or two, and then leave (the game is more about winning a few bucks than enjoying poker for these types). We can't do anything to stop that, and we don't try.

Leaving the game for good right before you blind is the most logical time to leave, IMO.



There is no rule regarding when to leave the table. You can leave at any moment.

I think there is no "one correct answer". For example, I play in few home games - In one of them there was a rule (unwritten one) that whenever someone wants to leave, he/she announce it a round before.

In other home game we set an exact hour to finish.

In other places like poker rooms, leave whenever you want.


In my experience, most players actually wait until they are UTG so that they get x amount of free hole cards after they have decided to finish up. Obviously home rules need to be considered where you may need to call in advance that you wish to cash out. You will hear people say "I will finish this round" and then leave UTG. I think this concept is well enough understood by most players, I would be very surprised if anyone acted offended at this.


Contrarian here. The reasons blinds exist is to make sure there is money in the pot. Without blinds there would be little incentive to play many hands.

If everyone were to do what you suggested it would be ineffective. If you expect someone to pay the big blind (and they have to), then why wouldn't you?

I see it is as rude. In a home game, I'd ask you to stop. In a tournament your blind is posted for you and you fold if you are gone. Why should it be different in another game?


I read that as someone who routinely gets up and takes a break for the big blind. Regarding going home - I have no problem with someone that goes home at their blind. We have a rule in our home games that you announce 10-15 min before you are going home. That way no one cares when you leave and every one expected it. But yeah, I misunderstood the question.

  • 4
    You have it wrong. I should be able to leave a game at any time that I choose.
    – wdypdx22
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 20:56
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    To be clear, I'm only talking about doing this when I'm about leave the game to go home. This only happens once per session.
    – msergeant
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:29
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    @Chris -- "I see it is as rude. In a home game, I'd ask you to stop." -- If I want to go home; you're gonna make me stay?
    – wdypdx22
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 2:23
  • @chriskluis I'm not sure you've understood the question. Everyone here seems to accept that blinds are required for the game to work.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 17:22
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    If everyone did as the OP suggested, the game would break because everybody went home. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:08

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