Welcome to the ChipTalk Community

Want to join the rest of the ChipTalk members? It is free to sign up today and unlock new features, discussions, and reduce the advertising.

Sign Up

Dead Button vs Moving Button Article by White Potato

Discussion in 'General Articles' started by jojobinks, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. jojobinks

    jojobinks Poker Nerd (and Admin)
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,322
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    bottom pair and a flush draw
    What should be done when a player goes broke and the blinds get messed up? There are two different ways to go about getting the blinds back to normal. They are the dead button method and the moving button method. With the dead button method, the button can stay at a seat where the player has busted, in effect giving the player to the right the button again. This method lets the big blind move forward as it would normally. The moving button method always has the button move to the next live player, and blinds are posted accordingly for the button which has moved forward. This causes more blind bets to be posted in the hands until the blinds return to normal. I prefer the dead button method.


    The Tournament Directors Association Rules are used by all major tournaments including the WSOP and the WPT.

    TDA Rule 6 states: Dead Button: Tournament play will use a dead button.

    See the entire TDA Rules here: <A href="http://www.pokerpages.com/articles/behindtable/tda-rules.htm" target=_blank>here (notice this does not work, but the this next one does)http://www.pokerpages.com/articles/behindtable/tda-rules.htm

    The reason the dead button is used in tournaments is to ensure fairness to the players. In a ring game, both methods are pretty fair, but the moving button becomes unfair in the tournament setting.


    The question of which method is better has been the topic of much discussion. This Card Player magazine article summarizes many of the pros and cons of the dead button method and the moving button method, but ultimately advocates that the dead button method should be used.
    http://www.cardplayer.com/poker_magazine/archives/showarticle.php?a_id=14432&m_id=65552


    Both methods require each player to post exactly one big blind and one small blind per orbit. I will outline the main differences between the two methods and their effect on the game.


    The first difference is that instead of the normal 1.5BBs to seed the pot, the dead button method might have only 1BB, and the moving button method might have 2BBs, 2.5BBs, or 3BBs to seed the pot. Clearly, the moving button can have a more drastic effect on the nature of a hand. Under the dead button, an opening raise should stay the same size, but under the moving button, the opening raise might have to be much higher than normal.


    In the end game of a tournament, when all the money is on the line, the average stack is usually very low and often times under 10BBs per player. So the effect of the moving button method on pot odds is very significant.


    Consider this example: both blinds busted out on the last hand and the average stack is about 8BBs, and the moving button method is used.



    Fold, Fold, All in for 4BBs, Fold, Fold, Fold,...



    The last person to act is getting 2.3 to 1 on their money (or better if they have less than 4BBs).



    If the dead button were used the last person to act would only be getting 1.6 to 1 on their money.


    Had the blinds been normal, the last person to act would be getting 1.8 to 1 on their money.




    Obviously, the dead button rule keeps the pot odds more in line with what they normally would be. When there are 3BBs posted, a 3BB opening raise will probably not pick up the pot, and if your stack size is 8BBs you can't really raise much more without going all in. The moving button generally affects the game in a way to increase the luck factor and decrease skill, whereas the dead button method does not increase luck.


    The moving button just does not work well when playing shorthanded. It is most obvious when you are 5 handed and the small and big blind bust out. For the next three hands, there are additional bets in the pot, 3BBs, then 2.5BBs, then 2BBs; and there are only three players. When there are two big blinds and a small blind on the button or everyone is posting a big blind, it is basically a super high ante style of poker. If this were a desirable effect, the game you’re playing would have antes instead of blinds.


    The second difference is that with the dead button method, a player may have the button for more than one hand in an orbit, but with the moving button, a player will never have the button for more than one hand per orbit. In the endgame of a tournament, having the button 2 hands in a row is not very beneficial. More often than not, the only decision the button has to make is to call all in or fold. There is seldom any flop play. There is almost never turn or river play. So the positional advantage is not very beneficial like it is in a ring game.


    The third difference is that with the moving button a player does not know how many hands he will see before he will have to post his BB. This is very important when you know your next hand will be all in. If you think you will see 4 hands until you have to post, then the SB and BB bust out and you only get to see 1 more hand before you have to post, it is just unfair. This cannot happen with the dead button method. And really, this is another reason that the positional advantage of having the button twice in a row is nullified. This early position short stack player is probably going all in before the action will get to the button, so the benefit of position is not very significant.


    The fourth difference is that in a ring game, players generally do not leave the table when they are in the blinds. Usually they will leave when it is their turn to pay the big blind. If they bust out on one of these hands, they often buy more chips or play behind and the blinds are not affected. Thus, the moving button rarely needs to be implemented. Clearly this is not the case with tournaments, since players do not decide when to pick up their chips and leave.

    Finally, when you have no small blind using the dead blind method, it is similar to if a player was almost all in on the small blind. For example, the blinds are 100/200, and the player who was in the big blind got doubled through by a slightly smaller stack. He only has 25 left. He still posts his 25 as the small blind. This is almost the same as the dead button situation where there is no small blind.


    The positive attributes of the moving button method are almost non-existent in the end game of a tournament, but the negative attributes are severely magnified. The dead button method is much more fair for tournaments and that is why the TDA has adopted the dead button method exclusively. Also, the dead button is easier to explain to players and most players think it is more fair than the moving button.


    This is a list of all possibilities and what to do using the dead button method:


    When the action is at least 4 handed:

    1. When the small blind busts
    - the UTG becomes the big blind
    - the big blind becomes the small blind
    - the button stays the button

    2. When the big blind busts
    - the UTG becomes the big blind
    - the small blind becomes the button
    - there is no small blind posted
    - the button stays in the same spot for the next hand when blinds return to normal structure





    When the action is 3 handed:

    1. When the button busts
    - the big blind becomes the small blind and gets the button
    - the small blind becomes the big blind

    2. When the small blind busts
    - the big blind becomes the small blind and gets the button
    - the button becomes the big blind

    3. When the big blind busts
    - the small blind stays the small blind and gets the button
    - the button becomes the big blind

    When both blinds bust (more than 4 players):

    The first hand
    - the UTG becomes the big blind
    - the button stays the button
    - there is no small blind posted

    The next hand
    - the current UTG becomes the big blind
    - the current big blind (who was the UTG when the blinds busted) becomes the small blind
    - the button stays the button until the next hand



    When both blinds bust when the action is 4 handed:
    - the UTG becomes the big blind
    - the button stays the button and becomes the small blind

    These rules were adopted for this card room in Rule 32e: http://oresteen.com/poker.htm



    These diagrams cover every possible contingency for the blinds. Some of them are very basic, but I have seen arguments over some very simple situations, like the under the gun player busting out.


    B = Button
    SB = Small Blind
    BB = Big Blind
    X = Empty Seat
    EB = Effective Button
    X+B = Button on Empty Seat
    X+SB = Empty Seat is Small Blind
    B+SB = Button and Small Blind
    B+BB = Button and Big Blind
     
    #1
  2. jojobinks

    jojobinks Poker Nerd (and Admin)
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,322
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    bottom pair and a flush draw
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    i'm excited about this article...but it obviously needs some work. potatoe was having some issues with his diagrams that he'll address below. we also need to figure out how to make this more sexy for webpage viewing and, perhaps, deal with the 10,000 extra tags that come with that damn wysiwig editor.
     
    #2
  3. CaptLego

    CaptLego Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,077
    Likes Received:
    267
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    This should make a great article.
    The next step is to get it organized and formatted, to make it more readable.
    I remember a thread here recently about this topic. Somebody posted a link to a great description of how the moving button system works (I never understood it before reading that.)

    I'd suggest re-arranging the article and adding info to fill in this outline:

    o. Header information
    I. Introduction
    there are two different approaches to handling the blinds/button when somebody busts out ... blah, blah
    II. How they work
    Diagrams are a must here, IMO. Illustrate the different scenarios, and how they're handled with dead button vs moving button.
    III. Analysis
    what is the impact of the different approaches - what difference does it make?
    IV. Arguments for one approach vs the other.
    Now that we understand what difference it makes, which one is better?
    V. Recommendations
    Which one should you use?

    As for those WYSIWYG tags, I think the guy that put them in there should remove them :stunned: You can use the normal editor to manually remove them. Or if you've got the original material in some other format (like a notepad.txt file), you could start over by pasting it into the normal editor.
     
    #3
  4. jojobinks

    jojobinks Poker Nerd (and Admin)
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,322
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    bottom pair and a flush draw
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    the author is that guy!

    i agree it needs to be organized better.
     
    #4
  5. whitepotatoe

    whitepotatoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    Okay, I will need someone to tell me how to get my diagrams into imageshack without looking like crap. I created them in excel, very plain looking but gets the point across. I tried screenshots and they look bad. I could make these tables with html or something if chiptalk can handle that (I am not really a programmer but could do it if someone lets me know what to do). I wanted to use http://www.side-pot.com/blinds.php but it only has the moving button and it does not cover all situations, so I thought it would look wierd if only a few of the diagrams were this type. This page has more, but still not all scenarios http://www.homepokertourney.com/button.htm. I can email the excel file to someone if that would help. If someone could make diagrams like those at sidepot for all the scenarios that would be cool (much cooler than black and white diagrams), but that would be a lot of diagrams to make.

    Also, I don't know anything about the WYSIWYG tags so I need to get that straigtened out, but I do have the article written in Word.

    Also, I am super busy with school and work, so my response time to the board may be slow at times. :sorry:
     
    #5
    1 person likes this.
  6. CaptLego

    CaptLego Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,077
    Likes Received:
    267
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    I don't know what your excel diagrams look like, but am somewhat surprised that the screenshots don't work well. One thing I have observed, though, is that resizing screenshots usually makes them look bad. Maybe that's your problem?

    Generating diagrams like the side-pot ones shouldn't be too onerous. If you can come up with a good background image for the table, then all you have to do is plop some SB/BB/Button text or icons on it to generate each image. You could do this pretty quickly with photoshop or even Paint.

    For the WYSIWYG tags, go to your UserCP options, and select the "Basic" or "Standard" editor. Then start fresh with the template, and just copy/paste the text from your word processor.
     
    #6
  7. jojobinks

    jojobinks Poker Nerd (and Admin)
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,322
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    bottom pair and a flush draw
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    paint is a pain, but can be done...

    here's my 4 minute effort
    [​IMG]
     
    #7
  8. R Deckard

    R Deckard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    General Help: For diagrams and line-art graphics (i.e. non-photographic) type pics, you should use a GIF or BMP image format--JPEG produces funky artifacts and fuzziness.

    Specific Help: Please email your Excel file and I will take a look and see if I can come up with some decent diagrams for you to use.
     
    #8
  9. gmunny

    gmunny #21
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,085
    Media:
    8
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    Home of the Doyers
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    I like the discussion but agree with the above to re-organize it. How about these main sections:

    1) Intro/General/Issue
    2) Dead Button Description & Diagrams
    3) Moving Button Description & Diagrams
    4) Pros/Cons of each method or Comparing the 2 methods
    5) Writer's Conclusion

    Also, just as a easy way to remember both rules are:
    1) Dead Button - Blinds Drag the Button
    2) Moving Button - Button Pushes the Blinds

    There is some really good info here. Nice job.
    G$
     
    #9
    1 person likes this.
  10. whitepotatoe

    whitepotatoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    Email sent to R Deckard with the excel file. Thanks for the inupt everyone. I will get around to reorganizing as soon as I can, and will post it. I do not think I should attempt to draw something like the sidepot site has, it would be a waste of time because I suck bigtime at paint. If we could use the images on the sidepot site, that might work, but I don't know how to drag and drop something onto an image properly.

    And Capt, I was not resizing the images, but they were not full size when I pasted them into paint. If it automatically resizes them, that is probably the problem.
     
    #10
  11. R Deckard

    R Deckard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    potatoe,
    Email sent with clean GIFs of your Excel charts. I can do "Side-Pot-like" diagrams if desired, but those will take more time. I think the slight blurriness of your screen shot might be due to some anti-aliasing process that the "Print Screen" button uses (I use SnagIt to do screencopys).

    Here's a sample chart just to test how it will look:
    [​IMG]
     
    #11
    1 person likes this.
  12. CaptLego

    CaptLego Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,077
    Likes Received:
    267
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    That image looks pretty good to me.
    I like the table format, too.
    It might be nice to tweak the graphics a bit (like replacing the "B" with a button, for example), but that would be easy to do on the .jpg
     
    #12
  13. whitepotatoe

    whitepotatoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    First off, thanks R Deckard, those gifs look much better. They still don't look as good as something done in html or something like that. Can we not use that stuff on chiptalk?

    If you would like to do side pot like images, that would be great. :) I think it's much easier for someone who doesn't know how it works to learn it from side-pot like pictures, rather than black and white diagrams with letters all over the place. I am sure everyone would like that better than me working with paint. But there would be a lot of diagrams if you do side pot like diagrams, because each one of my diagrams is 3 or 4 or 5 of those side pot types.

    It looks like you whited out the lines in the [Hand\Seat] box too. I couldn't remember how to erase those lines in excel. :huh:

    And Capt, I'm glad you like the format. I agree that the "B" may not be the best way to communicate "button". When I look at some of them it does not seem very straightforward, since there are Bs, SBs, and BBs all over the place. Maybe for the dead button it would have an X over the button or something to show that there is no player at that seat. And maybe one chip for small blind and two chips for big blind. I think this would be better than just the letters.

    What does everyone else think?
     
    #13
  14. R Deckard

    R Deckard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    I think we can, but I don't know crap about how to do this in html.

    It would be fun for me to make them, but yeah, there would be a sheetload, meester.

    Uh, actually I used this: [​IMG]

    I agree, too many B's.
     
    #14
  15. gmunny

    gmunny #21
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,085
    Media:
    8
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    Home of the Doyers
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    What about a diagram like this?
    [​IMG]


    G$
     
    #15
  16. Poboy

    Poboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    The chart lost me... I hand 1 the BB busts, right? What is X+SB, X+BB, and EB?
     
    #16
  17. R Deckard

    R Deckard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    Hey, how about some animated GIF action lahk zeese:

    [​IMG]

    Now how does that old Styx song go. . .
     
    #17
    1 person likes this.
  18. CaptLego

    CaptLego Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,077
    Likes Received:
    267
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    I like the original chart OK, but would get rid of the "X" stuff. Just grey out those cells, since that player is busted out.

    Gmunny's diagram is kinda nice where it shows a player going to the rail, but I worry that it would be more complicated for the moving button case...

    The animation is pretty cool, but I'd want to have manual control over it's frames (I'm kinda slow, so I need to pause on a hand to make sure I understand what's going on.) Maybe a couple of buttons on it for forward and reverse that would advance/backup one hand? I definitely like this more than having a gazillion different pictures, one for each hand.
     
    #18
  19. TenPercenter

    TenPercenter Administrator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    12,031
    Likes Received:
    426
    Location:
    Dallas
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    "I am the modern man (secret secret! I got a secret!). "
     
    #19
  20. R Deckard

    R Deckard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Re: White potato: dead button v moving button

    The one I was thinking about was:

    "Too much time on my hands, it’s ticking away with my sanity
    I’ve got too much time on my hands, it’s hard to believe such a calamity" :)

    Lego, now you want a reversing, variable-speed slideshow? Sheesh. Give 'em an inch. . .
    I don't have a clue as to how to do this in a forum post. A bonehead-simple way would be to use a set of 3-4 thumbnails per case, with 1 thumbnail per hand. The reader can then click each thumbnail at their leisure.
     
    #20
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2006

Share This Page