The positions in poker have a remarkable influence on the final result of the game. Divided into four general types, the positions in poker mark the strategies to follow during the games and allow you to play from different points of view, for which it is necessary to adapt depending on the position you occupy at the table. In order for you to know how to play from any position we have prepared the following article, in which we explain the characteristics of each one and how to face the game from different positions at the poker table.
Positions in poker and their influence on the games
The positions at a poker table are determinant to define the ranges of poker hands that we can play in a game. The place we occupy at the table will define, from the beginning, our decision before the flop.
A beginner player tends to make too many simple decisions when defining hand ranges. This is not a bad basis, but it is important to understand the importance of the positions at the poker table and their influence on the outcome of the game. Delving into the question of the importance of different positions in poker will allow not only to know more about the moves during the games, but also to increase the chances of victory.
After the blinds, the next positions at the poker table are the Under The Gun (UTG). They are the first to speak, and who concentrate all eyes in the early stages of the game. At a table of 10 players, where there is an UTG, UTG +1 and UTG +2, there are still 9 players left to speak after the first Unter The Gun, which increases the odds that one of them will have a better hand. This is especially important to know what range of poker hands to handle, as it is common to defend a quarter hand and this is an erratic move.
The three positions that come before Cutoff and Dealer in the hierarchy are the middle positions. At this point of the game there will be fewer opponents left, and the poker hand ranges are extended significantly. In middle positions we will raise with JJ, QQ, KK, AA and AK, as well as with TT, 99 or AQ. It should be noted that the effect is not the same if the three middle positions are located just before the Cutoff or just after the Under The Gun, so you must be very aware of what poker positions you are occupying before the final moments of the game arrive. At this point there are fewer players left at the table and, in addition, they will have spoken before you. It is now when the pre-betting takes place, which means that TT, 99 and AQ are discarded. In case there is more than one raise, only AA and KK.
The final positions
The last positions at a poker table are the ones that open the door to all kinds of plays. In the Cutoff there will only be three opponents left, and in the Dealer only two. If we use statistics, we will know that 33% more hands are worth in the Dealer, and 25% in the Cutoff. We can raise very strong all the hands that we have mentioned before if the hand comes clean, although you will also have to consider raising with pairs in hand or connectors if you prefer a more aggressive game in these poker positions.
However, you must keep in mind that the positions at a poker table are not a matter of pure mathematics. There are a multitude of variables that can affect a player’s performance and profit margin regardless of the poker table positions he occupies. The appearance of a weak player, the possibility of bluffing at a unique opportunity or other types of vicissitudes that you can foresee affecting the game have to be taken into account in each session. The positions in poker are not an exact science and, although it is essential to know them to have an idea of their influence on the game, you must consider all the variables in each game.
On the other hand, the influence of the positions at a poker table is not always the same in all game modalities. The poker table positions are merely indicative in some modalities, playing a fundamental role in the Texas Hold’em variant, which is among the most popular worldwide.
What is the best table position?
There is no doubt that among the best poker positions is the Button, which is the last one to speak. This gives a considerable advantage to the player, since he knows all the information of the remaining players and allows him to act accordingly with all the cards on the table. The Button rotates clockwise, and if in the last hand it was you, the Button passes to the player on your left. At the end of each hand, it changes.
Among the reasons why the Button is at the top of the best positions at the poker table is the possibility to defend your position when you have a lot of chips, even if you don’t have good cards or didn’t get anything on the flop. However, if the Button folds, it will be the Cutoff who will be the last to speak. As a general rule, in case the Button folds many times, it is convenient to pay to see the flop from that position. However, all these variables will be known by any beginner with experience, dedication and time.