Playing your Position in Poker

posted in Poker

Every poker player knows that their chances of winning increase dramatically when good cards fall into their hand. Unfortunately, we don’t really see great hands that often. In fact, your chances of being dealt pocket aces (the best starting hand in Texas Hold’em) are just 1 in 220. That’s why table position is so important in poker because you won’t always be working with the best hands. Keeping that in mind, here is how you want to play each position on the table.

Early Position

On a 10-person table, early position is considered the first three seats to the left of the big blind. This is the worst spot to be in during a hand because you are one of the first people to act. Due to this fact, there is a very good chance that someone could raise you later on if you’re trying to limp into a pot. So you only want to make raises with the best possible hands from this position. If you’re dealt AA, KK, QQ, or JJ, you can make a large raise; some of the more aggressive players will even raise with AK.

With lower value hands like TT, 99, and KQ you can call the big blind, but don’t raise unless it’s a small one. You should fold anything else from this position.

Middle Position

Middle position is the three seats after early position. This position calls for a little less conservative approach in that you’ll play more hands, and raise with less since you act later in a hand. You can raise with hands such as TT, 99, KQ, and anything better while you should play hands such as 66, 77, QJ, JT, T9, A-8, K-J and anything better.

Late Position

Late position is the two seats before the small blind, and the best place to be during a hand. Being in late position allows you to see what everyone else has done during the hand while plotting your next move. For this reason, you can really open up the range of hands you play while limping into more pots as well. In unraised pots, you can play A-6 (or Ax if you’re trying to steal small pots), any pocket pair, and any connectors starting at 5-6 and up.

But you need to remember that you only want to play connectors like 5-6 or Ax in situations where you are likely to steal the pot. If you fail to steal the pot, these drawing hands are your fallback.

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