The importance of position in poker

Poker is an information game. You know your cards, you try to guess those of your opponents. There are also community cards. The rest? You have to guess. How? Position in poker gives you access to a lot of information.

The important thing is not necessarily your cards, but those of your opponents. Why? By assessing your opponent’s hand accurately enough, you’ll be able to pull off blows that weren’t necessarily intended for you. You will also be able to extricate a maximum of chips from your opponents when you have the nuts and will therefore have formed the best poker combination. All of this is possible through positional poker play.

Ok, but how do I guess the strength of my opponent’s hand?

By observing other players, you will be able to detect their habits. The way they behave at the table, the speed at which they play, the way they handle their chips, the tone of their voice, the size of the bet, their posture, etc…. Put it all in relation to the texture of the board, break down the blow back, and with that information at your disposal, you should be able to put your opponent on a small hand list. Proceed by elimination. Each action of your opponent will allow you to eliminate a few hands from this list to finally have a relatively precise idea of ​​your opponent’s hand. It’s called reading.
Alright, I figured out what reading is. But what does it have to do with position in poker?

Don’t be so impatient! You are in bad shape if not at a poker table. We come there. The report? Just like you, your opponent will also try to read you, to detect a sign of strength or, on the contrary, of weakness. Do you feel it strong when you are max? Maybe it’s time to move all in and squeeze as many chips out of your opponent as possible.
What is position in poker?

Having the position is being the last to speak, to act. There are several positions in poker. To put it simply, there are players who are in early position (the first to act), those who are in middle position and players in late position (those who act last). If you have the dealer button in front of you and you decide to play the hand, you are guaranteed to have the position.

  • In red are the positions at the beginning of position (Early Position)
  • In blue, these are the players in middle position (Middle Position)
  • In green, these are the players in late position
  • In gold, the player on the button

Come to the point! Why is position so important?

Yes, yes, we are getting there. By being in late position, you will have many advantages.
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First of all, your position at the table will influence the selection of your starting hand. A hand can be attractive in late position, but very difficult to play out of position. Basically, you’re going to expand your hand selection based on your position. In short, you will play strong hands in early position. You will widen your selection to good hands in middle position. Finally, you will add hands with interesting potential in late position. Of course, nothing is fixed and you can decide to play small connectors in early position. The important thing is to deceive your opponent. Look strong when you’re weak, and look weak when you’re strong. Hey, that’s brilliant as a sentence. I’ll write it down somewhere.
Information through position

By playing in position, you will have the advantage of speaking after your opponent and acting on the information that he has let transpire. Every move of the players reveals a lot of information. For example, on a [Qc][9d][9s] board, your opponent makes a small continuation bet. You seem to detect a sign of weakness in this timid bet and in your opponent’s attitude. Your connectors [7d][8d] did not hit the flop. Is that a reason to drop the shot? You are almost certain that your opponent has not found his flop either. If you think you can scare him away, revive him by turning your hand into a bluff! It wouldn’t have been possible out of position. Or by doing a check-raise, it’s true.

Stay alert and listen to your opponents. Position in poker is a gold mine that will give you an undeniable advantage. The final table is yours!
Pot size control

By being last to act, you should be able to control the size of the pot before you go any further. If you want to keep the pot small and your opponent has checked, you have the option to check as well. This also gives you the opportunity to have a free card. If you want to make the pot bigger, bet or raise when it’s your turn.

Poker position in brief

In summary, by playing in position, you will be able to:

  • Expand your selection of starting hands
  • Have access to more information than your opponent
  • Bluff more easily
  • Maximize your big hands
  • Control the size of the pot

On the other hand, if you play out of position, it is your opponent who will benefit from the benefits of playing in position.