Understanding Table Positions


The key to winning in Texas Holdem games is to choose the right cards to play in a hand. And this often depends on your position i.e. where you sit. The seat to the right of the dealer is possibly the best seat to be had. It allows you to see what most players do before you have to act. The worst seats at a poker table are seats in early position i.e. the two seats to the left of the dealer. They have to act first in betting rounds which means that they don't have the advantage of knowing what their opponents are going to do first.


Importance of Table Position in Texas Hold’em Poker Game

In Texas Hold’em variant of poker game, table position is the place where a player sits in comparison to other players. It is very important to know in detail about table position in Texas Hold’em poker game as it will help you in understanding the hands and situations of your opponents.

Types of position in Texas Hold’em

On a large 9-player poker table, the position of a table can be categorised as below:

Early position or EP: When a player is in this position i.e. Early Position then he makes the move before most players in the hand. Early position is the first position to the left of the big blind. The player sitting immediate left to the big blind is the first to act and is called 'Under the Gun' or simply 'UTG'. On 9-player poker table, the seat next to ‘Under the Gun’ position i.e. UTG+1 can also be referred as the Early Position as most of the table is in later positions.

Middle Position or MP: In this position, a player makes his move before some of the playing members, but only after others have made their move.

Late Position or LP: In Late Position, a player acts after most of the players in the hand.

Blinds: A player is said to be in a blind position if he acts after all other players pre-flop, but makes the first flop.

Why table position matters in Texas Hold’em poker game

While playing poker online, the position of player is very important as it impacts the action on all streets (street -> community card revealed in a betting round, eg. turn is "fourth street" and river is "fifth street"). When a player is in an out of position (OUP)(Out of position - First person to act in a hand) then his game play will be quite different from when he is in position (IP)(In position - Last to act).

When a player is positioned in a late position i.e. LP then he would have an advantage over his opponents as he will get to know about some important details related to the hands of others before they make a move. When a player is in late position, he gets a chance to observe other players around the poker table when they make their moves. This will enable a player to get an idea about the strengths of his opponents’ hands during the pre-flop round itself. If all the players are limping during their moves then it means that they are not in a good position, or you can say that they have a weak hand.

On the other hand, during each of flop round, the player in a late position can know about the interest level of his opponents in the game as they were compelled to make their move first. Also, this late position can benefit the player as it gives him an advantage over his opponents to use the poker technique of bluffing and confusing them. As the player in this position will be making his move after all other players, he can win more pots, place his bets more effectively, and get the chance to witness more showdowns.

So the position of a player in Texas Hold’em is one of the factors that impact the no-limit strategy in Texas Hold’em. When playing with a good position in comparison to the opponents, a player benefits by reducing his chances of losing the game play and rise over others as the winner.

Hope you would have understood the importance of any specific sitting position in the game of Texas Hold’em poker game variant by now. If you are a beginner, you would have got an idea about the different poker hands while sitting in different table positions.

Strategies to Play in Position

When you are in the early position, you should only play the best hands simply because there are too many people to act after you. You are not wrong if you think that raising too early is not a good option but then it has its benefits. First of all, the pot gets bigger and you win a handsome amount if you win. Secondly, it also protects your hand because lesser the number of players in the game, the more chances you have of winning.

When you are in the middle position, you can add a few more hands to your raising range. And if there had been no raise in front of you, then getting even more ambitious is not a bad option.

In late position, you can raise with even more cards including the middle position cards. We mean to say that although you have a number of good reasons for raising, you should also try to make other players fold in the late position.

When you are in the blind stages, don't get into a habit of calling just because you have been put in a big blind; only re-raise with good hands or just fold.


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