The positions at a poker table are everything. Any move, strategy, calculation or probability depends on the position you occupy at every moment of the game. Therefore, it is essential that you know them all, that you learn about their pros and cons, that you understand the approach to the game inherent to each position and that you have a mental map with their locations during the game so that no move catches you off guard.

Positions at a poker table: name of all of them

Let’s start with the basics: poker positions. We divide them into: blinds, early positions, middle positions and late positions:

    • SB (small blind).
    • BB (big blind).
  • Starting positions.
    • UTG (Under The Gun).
    • UTG +1.
    • UTG +2.
  • Mid Positions.
    • MP1 (Mid Position 1).
    • HJ (Hijack).
  • Final positions.
    • CO (Cutoff).
    • BU (Button).

Are the positions at the poker table that important?

Of course, they are. The positions define everything that happens at a poker table, from preflop to river. In the preflop, the positions already determine what kind of information and how much information the players receive depending on where they are placed at the table. The last to speak preflop has all the information of the players that precede him, while the first to speak goes totally blind, without any reference data.

The same thing happens in every betting round. Determining the probabilities (calculating the odds) in each one depends on the position occupied, among other factors. In addition, many strategies that work when playing IP (in position), do not work when OOP (out of position).

For example, the blinds are so called precisely because they go blind. The small blind is the one who makes the first bet, before the player cards are dealt. The big blind, moreover, must bet at least as much as the SB.

The starting positions are the most damaging, after the blinds. The names are also very eloquent. “Under The Gun” (literally, under the gun) refers to the pressure you feel when you have to make a bet when the cards have just been dealt, but before the flop, which is when the community cards are dealt.

Intermediate positions are not bad at all. Both MP1 and MP2 as well as the player occupying the Hijack position can use the information to their advantage to make their bet. But it is best to occupy one of the final positions, which have the most information of the round. The cutoff, for example, is located right next to the button. The BU is the most coveted position for everyone, because he is the one who closes the round.

Positions in poker at a table of 6

In the shorthanded mode, poker positions are equally important. However, being a 6-max game, the positions are limited to fit the characteristics of the game.

Normally, the poker positions at a table of 6 are as follows:

  • SB (small blind).
  • BB (big blind).
  • UTG (Under The Gun).
  • MP (Middle Position)
  • CO (Cutoff).
  • BU (Button).

That is to say, the positions in poker, when player limits are established, dispense with the secondary positions: UTG +1, UTG +2 and MP2 disappear. In 8-max modalities, the first line of secondaries is recovered, reincorporating UTG +1 and MP2.

How to approach the game from each position

The style of each player has a lot of weight when it comes to approaching the way to enter the game. For example, a UTG tends to take risks because he has hardly any data or time to study the tells; on the other hand, a CO or a BU tends to be very conservative, playing it safe, protecting his position more easily and being able to cover up his game better.

The need to be aware of the table positions in online poker comes from the need to adapt your strategy and everything related to your tells to keep your game opaque, not to x-ray it and protect your future projects.

In shorthanded 6-max games is especially critical the MP1 position, the first of the middle positions, as it will lack the information of the two players behind the UTG, being the position that loses the most in terms of preflop position compared to the others.

As a general rule, both blinds and starting positions approach the game from a somewhat aggressive prism. Taking into account that a dose of that risk is given by the scarce information obtained before the flop, it is easy to measure what can be the game of each player on later streets.

Those players who are always excessively conservative are the most dangerous, since they are the ones who tend to hide their aggressiveness and are never seen coming until, on their turn, during the flop or the turn, they change gears and take advantage of the opacity they have been transmitting to their game.