By: Pocket Bullets Paris
We’ve often been asked “how important is the idea of playing position in a poker game?” As far as we’re concerned, playing to the strengths of your position is extremely important, whether it’s a stud game, a draw game or any poker game variant including, and perhaps more so, in Texas Hold’em.
We know the question about position has been asked and answered a gazillion times but it still confuses a lot of players. We’ve written about it before, so here it is again; we hope it helps.
This is a brief description on the positions in Hold Em. Naturally the number of players tends to change the importance of positions, but generally speaking, when a table is full with nine or ten players as in our illustration below, the positions are usually titled Early Positions or EP, Middle Positions or MP and Late Positions or LP. And as their name implies, EPs act first, then MPs and finally LPs.
Early position players:
- The small blind is usually considered the worst position after the flop. This player is always the first player to the dealer’s left.
- The big blind is to the left of the small blind and his position is usually considered just as bad.
- Under the gun is the player who acts first pre-flop. He sits to the left of the big blind and many consider this to be the worst position pre-flop because he must bet or fold first without having any advantage of knowing what everyone else might do.
Middle position players:
- These players have a very slight advantage but they are basically in about the same position as EP players. They just get to see a little more action before making their move and can act accordingly.
Late position players:
- Hijack is to the right of the cutoff player and has the ability to steal the blinds but needs to be careful because he still has two more players to act after him.
- Cutoff is a solid position and has the advantage of “cutting off” the dealer’s chance of stealing the blinds; that is if they haven’t already been hijacked.
- Dealer or Button is the absolute best position because this guy has the advantage of acting last on the flop, the turn and the river.
These are your basic positions, but how you play them really varies according to your style of playing and, of course, the style of every other player at your poker table. There are lots of players, including us, that know that position is the absolute most important commodity to have at the poker table.