What is an ‘Action Button’?
An ‘action button’ is a poker marker sometimes introduced to high/low poker games when a player takes the ‘scoop‘ pot, winning both the high and low hands at once. That player is required to make a blind raise in the next round, and it forces any player who calls before the button to act on their raise later in the round. The action button is seen most commonly in seven-card stud games.
‘Action Button’ Explained
In poker, an ‘action button’ is a special marker used to signify that a player is liable for a blind raise, or a full bet on the bring-in, during the next pot. The cardroom will determine if that player is to act in turn, or to wait until all other players have made their actions. Once the action button is played, any player who called before the button play are then liable for the raise and required to post it during their next action, in addition to any re-raises they wish to make.
The action button is usually brought into play during games of High/Low Split poker, where players can make high or low ranking hands to win half of the pot.
Very occasionally, a hand can appear that not only counts for the lowest, but also the highest – winning both the pots in the process. This is commonly called a ‘scoop’ or ‘scoop pot’. Players who make this unlikely double pot might become liable for the action button in the next round – depending on the rules of the cardroom.
The action button bears similarities to the ‘kill button’ or ‘kill game’ in fixed-limit poker, where a player who has won a significant amount in a short time triggers a 1.5x multiplier on all bets posted, following a mandatory multiplied blind. It aims to level the playing field in less competitive games, such as home poker, while allowing for large bets to build. Not all casinos allow kill pots in fixed-limit games, preferring the action button rule.