If the SB bust, is it the button which advance or the big blind ?

2 Answers 2


The button is dead for the next hand. Easiest way for you to see is for me to show you an example.

Table looks like this before player busts:

  • Player 1 is button
  • Player 2 is SB
  • Player 3 is BB
  • Player 4
  • Player 5

Table after Player 2 busts:

  • Player1
  • Dead button is moved to where player 2 sat(you can just leave it with Player 1)
  • Player 3 is SB
  • Player 4 is BB
  • Player 5
  • If the BB (player3) busts, player 4 will have to pay the BB or only the SB ? I have noticed than online poker room differt about this aspect of the game (for instance on pokerstars player 4 will have to pay the SB, and player 5 the BB) but on Winamax, player 4 will have to pay the BB Mar 9, 2016 at 10:41
  • 2
    You always have to have a BB. A SB can be dead but a big blind can never be dead. So if a player who was meant to be the BB the next hand, the BB will move to the player after that player. I.E. Player 4 is meant to be BB but busts, player 5 is now the BB for the next hand.
    – Grinch91
    Mar 9, 2016 at 10:47
  • Maybe edit this is "Dead button" and is commonly used
    – paparazzo
    Mar 9, 2016 at 18:58

House rules vary.

Tournaments typically us the "dead button" rule, where the blinds advance but the button stays where it is (or moves in front of the empty seat, which is the same thing). If the big blind busts, the big blind and button move forward and there is no small blind for that hand.

But for live games many casinos use a "forward moving button" rule, where the button advances regardless, the player with the button posts a small blind (as he would otherwise have been required to), the player after the button posts a big blind, and the second player after the button also posts a big blind. On the hand after that, the two players that previously posted big blinds post a small, and the next player posts a big; the third hand goes back to normal (unless things happen during those first two hands, in which case the floorman may have to improvise).

Rarely, some games may use the "jellyroll" rule, where both the buttons and the blinds move, and two players are thereby excused of one of their blinds for a round. This is only done for games where the blinds are considered insignificant to the stakes but position is valuable, such as a 1-2 no-limit game.

Finally, in all cases when the game goes from three- or more handed to heads up, the big blind is awarded to whichever player posted it least recently, and the other player is given the small blind and the button.

  • I have always thought the term "Dead Button" was a silly term. I never place the button in an empty seat, it simply goes in front of the last player to receive cards. Lee laid things out perfectly, however it is much more simple to think about the rules of the blinds as not being directly linked to where the button is when you are trying to figure out who has what blind. That is more linked to who had the blind last and not particularly where the button is.
    – Jon
    Mar 10, 2016 at 20:12

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