Beginner Poker Strategy: What is Position?

Poker is one of the biggest games in the world for numerous reasons. First, it is an ancient game with a long and storied history. Poker has been around in some form or another for centuries, showing no signs of slowing down. Second, poker is a very popular game, with millions of people playing it worldwide. It is a mainstay of casinos and card rooms and can also be played online. Third, poker is an entertaining and exciting game. It is easy to learn but challenging to master and can provide hours of entertainment. Finally, poker is a very lucrative game. Poker pros can make a good living by playing the game, and there are also many opportunities to win big money in tournaments and other events. For all these reasons, poker is one of the biggest games in the world.      

Poker is a game of strategy, and there are a lot of different things that you can learn to improve. There are many different playstyles that you can choose from, and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. You need to understand all the different concepts to make the best decisions at the table. Additionally, you need to be able to read your opponents and figure out what they are trying to do. This is not an easy task, and it takes a lot of practice to get good at it. However, if you put in the time and effort, you will be able to develop your skills and become a successful poker player. One of the best concepts to start with is position. Many poker players, especially beginners, overlook this fundamental concept. This poker guide will explain what position is, why it’s so critical, and the many different positions poker has.              

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What is position in poker?

In poker, position is everything. Where you sit at the table is incredibly important because it decides when you act relative to the other players. The player who acts last on each round of betting, known as the player in position, has a distinct advantage, as they can see how the other players have acted before making their own decision. As a result, they are better able to make informed decisions and are less likely to make costly mistakes. However, players who act first, who are out of position, are at a disadvantage, as they have to make decisions without knowing how others will act. This can lead to rash decisions and impulsive betting. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of your position when playing poker and to use it to your advantage. Acting last may not always be possible, but when you are in position, you must capitalize on it.

Early position breakdown

Positions in poker are categorized into early, middle, and late. In a typical full-ring cash game, there would be nine seats, and most of those seats have names. Players rotate positions after every hand, and action proceeds around the table clockwise. Early position comprises the “Under the Gun” (UTG) and the UTG+1. The UTG seat is directly left of the big blind; it acts first pre-flop and third post-flop. The name references the pressure to make a decision that comes from playing in an early position pre-flop, as you are forced to make the starting decision of the game. The UTG+1 is the seat directly left of the UTG, and the name simply references this. For the reasons mentioned above, both early positions are tough to play from, so you should play tight and stick to premium hands.

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Middle position breakdown

Middle position in a full-ring game consists of seats three and four. Seat four is nicknamed the “lojack” because it precedes the hijack in late position. While playing from the middle position gives you more options than playing from an early position, you should still play conservatively, particularly as a beginner. Many of your opponents won’t consider positional advantages or disadvantages, so understanding them can put you ahead of the competition.

Late position breakdown

Late position in a full-ring game consists of three seats, the hijack, the cutoff, and the button. The hijack is the fifth seat, getting its name from its ability to take control of the hand from the other two seats by raising before them. The cutoff is the sixth seat, getting its name similarly because of its ability to cut the button off and negate its positional advantage. Finally, the button is the final late position seat and the best position in poker. It acts last post-flop and third to the last pre-flop, giving it an absurd informational advantage. You can afford to play far more hands from a late position because the added information allows you to navigate sticky situations without getting caught off-guard.

Blinds breakdown

In poker, the last two positions, the big and the small blind, are known as the worst positions for two reasons. The first reason is that they make forced bets known as blinds. The big blind pays an equivalent to the minimum bet size of the game, while the small blind pays half of that. This makes it tricky to play well from the blinds, especially for beginners who think the blinds mean they must commit to the pot no matter what. The second reason is that they are at horrible positional disadvantages since they act first post-flop despite acting last pre-flop. This combination of forced betting and positional disadvantage can be devastating if you aren’t prepared. Playing from the blinds takes skill and practice, and deciding when to fold or commit when in the blinds can be difficult for even the best players.

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Position is everything

Poker is a game of strategy, and the best strategy requires information, which you get from being in position. Your position at the table relative to the other players dictates how much information you have about their hands, what actions they can take that will affect your hand, and when you need to start making decisions. We hope this guide taught you the unwritten poker rules surrounding position, as understanding it is essential for beginner players. If you consider your position along with your opponents’ positions, you can make better decisions and increase your chances of winning.