Poker School

Position Play

An experienced poker player is always obsessed with the position, especially when their position is related to or near by the dealer button during the game play. The dealer button not only determines the two blinds (the two seats big blind and small blind left to the dealer button) but also, the order of betting in the further rounds.

From the button or the dealer, the action moves in the clockwise direction. The player right left to the dealer button initiates the action and the procedure of betting proceeds all the way till it reaches the dealer again.

It indicates that it is always best to be at the dealer position. Because, during most of the betting rounds the dealer gets privileged to be the last person to act, which gives them much more and precise information about the strength of his/her opponent's cards than any other positions on the table.

For a player at the dealer position, the sign of opponent's weakness (for example, checking) is an opportunity to pick up small pots on the table, by making medium bets. If the opponents are showing their strength by making big bets or huge raises, the dealer has the option to fold his cards without losing minimum amount with a weak hand.

Basically, the positions on a nine-handed poker table can be classified into three types:

  • Early position
  • Middle position
  • Late position

Position Play

EARLY POSITION

The two blinds after the button, the small blind (SB) and the big blind (BB) are known by the name "early positions". Also the next two seats from left to the big blind also fall under this category.

These players who are immediately left to the big blind is known by the name "under the gun" (UTG) as the players in this position is the first to act pre-flop betting round without having any information about their opponent's move. These two early positions are known by UTG1 and UTG2 respectively.

Players in the early positions require exceptionally strong hands in order to enter the pot. Because of the fact that, they will be forced to act at the earliest without having any sort of information about their opponents hand.

MIDDLE POSITION

As the name represents, "Middle position" (MP) is situated in between the positions UTG2 and the seat which is immediate right to the dealer position. Compared to the early positions the players in the middle position have much more liberal starting hand requirements as the number of players left to act after them is very few.

Anyhow, it is still risky to get involved in a pot from middle position as the players in the later position have more advantage.

LATE POSITION

"Late position" is considered to be the strongest as well as the most advantageous position. The two late positions are, the player situated immediately right to the dealer, and known by the name "Cut off" (CO) and the dealer position itself also known as the "button" (BTN).

This is the best position to be in the game since; you are privileged to see all the actions happening ahead, which enables you to gather the most information about your opponents. Compared to all other positions the players in the late position has the most liberal starting hand requirements as they are the last to act in a round of betting. Which grant them the opportunity to judge their opponents hands and act appropriately.

RUN-THROUGH

Position is an important aspect to be considered in the game of poker, as the most late you get to act in a betting round the most advantageous you become over other players as you gather the most critical information from them. If a lot of players have already involved in the hand, you receive information that you need to have a really strong hand to get involved in that pot. Vies-versa, if every other player on the table folds around you, any two cards might be suitable to do a raise on that blinds.

Basically, more hands should be played in late positions than from middle positions, and you can get involved in more hands from middle positions than from early positions.

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