Positions are where each player sits at a poker table. Your position determines at what point you will be able to place your bet and how close you are to the dealer.
When a player has a position on you, it means they will play after you have played. There are three primary positions in poker all of which have some merit albeit some more than others.
The player who acts first in every betting round is regarded as Out of Position (OOP). While the player who acts last in every betting round is regarded as the In Position (IP).
The In Position is known to have an advantage over the out position. Ordinarily, players in an In position are likely to play more hands while players in out position are likely to play fewer hands.
Types Of Positions In Poker
Early Position – EP
In the majority of poker settings, the early position is the player that sits 3 seats left of the dealer.
For most poker players, the early position isn’t a favorite position as they get to play first. Early positions also don’t allow you to know how other players will play their hands.
There are three positions that fall under the early position. The first is the Small Blind who is the first player left of the button. The second is the Big Blind who sits directly to the left of the Small Blind. The third is called Under The Gun and they sit directly left of the Big Blind.
Middle Position – MP
These are the 3 players who sit to the left of the last early position. This position is not particularly advantageous but poker players will take it over the early positions.
The middle position gives you a position on the early positions so you can study their play. The position allows you to play a little looser, however, you still need to apply some caution.
Late Position – LP
The late position refers to the two players to the dealer’s right. The late position gives a better insight into the plays of other players and allows you to adjust your game to predict the play.
The late position can also be the betting position that allows the player to place a bet and claim the pot when other players have failed to. The first player to the dealer’s right is called The Cutoff. The second is called The Hijack who sits directly to the right of The Cutoff.
The player who plays last in any betting round is referred to as having absolute position. However, the flow of action might be such that the player with absolute position is not the last to act on a betting round.
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Importance Of Positions In Poker
Positions have some significance in poker because they can condition your game or give you an advantage if you know how to exploit your position.
Information on Other Players
Players in the last positions can analyse the plays of other players to get some additional information that can give them some hedge.
The last position is regarded as the best position because it allows the player to gather as much information as possible on the opponents. This will give the player a chance to make the best decision that will give him a higher chance of winning.
Position to Bluff
When you get to watch your opponents play, you will get a chance to spot their weaknesses and exploit them. You can guess when they have a weak hand which allows you to use bluffing to your advantage.
Bluffing in combination with a strategy can be used to control the game and increase your chances of winning.
The last position allows you to control the side of the pot you get to play. The LP also gives you the chance to check behind an opponent. You can also decide to fold, re-raise, or increase the pot size which is an option that can give you an edge.
Having a position on your opponent gives you the option to draw a card when you don’t want to raise. Drawing a card can come in handy in completing a set and giving a higher chance to make a value bet in the next rounds.
Calculating Pot Odds
Playing last allows you to calculate the value of the pot. This will help you to determine your next move and the level of bet to make.
Positions are important in poker and getting a good position can give a player the chance to make better decisions.
While you might not get to determine which position you sit at a poker table, it’s up to you to know how to use the position to your advantage.