The Cutoff Position in Poker – Everything You Need to Know

cutoff poker

What is the Cutoff in Poker?

The cutoff in poker is the person sitting immediately to the right of the dealer button. It is a great position to play from as you are often the last person to act. At worst, there will be one player behind you post flop. There is not much strategy available about how to play the cutoff seat well despite it being one of the most important seats at the table. This article will detail all the information you need to know about cutoff poker to hopefully help your poker stats and win rate.

Cut Off Position Poker Strategy Tips

There are several effective ways of using the cutoff poker to your advantage in cash games and tournaments. Below are some concepts and tips that you can use to improve your profits from this position.

Stealing the button

This expression is coined from effectively taking the initiative and stealing the blinds from the cutoff seat. Some people get very proud about “their button” and will get annoyed if you raise liberally and regularly from the cutoff. Who cares though? If they want to react and start 3 betting, you can choose whether to 4 bet or just tighten back up.

More believable bluffs

The great thing about being active from the cutoff position is the believability. Player’s don’t view the cutoff with quite the same disdain as they do button raises. This makes it easier to get steals through, continuation betting has higher success rates and you represent more credible hands.

Who would have thought that one extra seat makes the difference? The vast majority of poker education is focused on playing your button that it puts the cutoff poker position to one side.

3 Betting from the Cutoff

Another great thing about playing from here is the 3 bet strategy you can employ. If you are to the left of a serial raiser, you know you only have 3 random hands behind you. This makes a 3 bet an effective strategy against someone raising liberally from the hijack. You also get more respect 3 betting from the cutoff than you do from the button.

Isolating limpers is easy

Raising over limpers aka iso-raising is a great thing to do from the cutoff poker position. Once the dealer button folds, you have position on the limpers and can pick up a lot of pots post flop. I’ve explained before why limping is bad and isolating limpers from cutoff is one way you can get abused for limping.

These days, the cutoff could arguably be more profitable than the button in many games.

Why is it called the Cut-Off?

It is called the cutoff because if everyone folds to you, you can choose to “cut off” the buttons favourable position with an open raise.

Final Thoughts

The cutoff poker position is a beautiful place to play poker from. You’re almost always the last person to act post flop, get more respect and can attack weaker players easier. Of the 9 seats at the table, this is mathematically the second-best position to be in. But today with less respect for button raises, it might actually overtake the button and be the best.

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This article was written in 2020 and has been updated.

Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: