Strategizing Table Positioning in Poker
What are the games that come to your mind when you have a deck of cards in your hand? Rummy, Callbreak, Poker, or Patte pe Patta (our first leaned card game in childhood). As soon as we get a deck of cards in our hand, we start shuffling it.
We are sure you are recalling but yes unconsciously or consciously we all do the same. Somebody masters the art of shuffling and somebody masters cribbing for not winning but at some point, in time, we all master the game with practice.
Practicing the game reminds us of a card game that is easy to play but needs the practice to be mastered. Yes, it’s Poker. Poker is an interesting game and keeps you hooked from the first chaal.
The game needs a lot of practice to reach the level of acing the game. Join a poker table and it’s so difficult getting up from there.
Poker is one of the most played card games throughout the world. Both Online Poker and Live Poker have their fan base and are ruling the world of card games.
Poker is a game that is relished across the globe with multiple international level tournaments with professional players. It’s a popular game played in every household as well as in multimillion-dollar tournaments.
As they say, ‘the beautiful thing about Poker is that everybody thinks they can play’. There are some things you need to get into your head to become a successful Poker player.
Half knowledge is dangerous and leads you nowhere similarly you can’t excel in a poker game just by hand rankings and bet sizing. You need to strategize your table positioning in order to make the most of your poker strategy.
Let’s fill you in on the importance of table positions in the poker game.
What is Poker position?
As the name suggests, it is the place where a player sits across the table corresponding to the dealer button. The game is played clockwise, and the player’s seating order can have a major role in his/her game.
The positioning decides whether you’ll be the first person or the last one to place your bets.
Variety of Poker Table Positions
1. Dealer button
It is the point from where the game starts. The dealer button is also called Buck. This button acts as a pointer to initiate the distribution of cards. The player who had the smallest bind in the last hand will be pointed out by this button on its own.
These are the bets which are forced on the players who are sitting on the left of the dealer button. This is a mandatory post for the players. There are two types of blinds-
- Small blinds - This blind is the first bet that is set by default. It is a forced bet on the player sitting on the left of the Buck or dealer button. The amount is half the amount of the next forced bet which is known as the Big Blind. This is the least favored table position.
- Big Blinds - This bet is again set by default. The amount is obviously two times the amount of the small blind. The player sitting next to the one posting the smaller blind is responsible for posting this blind.
3. Under the Gun
Under the Gun or UTG, the player on the left of the player posting the big blind is known as UTG. This player must be the first one to act before the flop show. The UTG is under pressure in this situation and must play his moves wisely.
Now comes the turn of the player on the right of the dealer button. This position is considered to be in second place when it comes to the best positions of the poker players on the poker table.
The player is known as Cut Off because this player has an upper hand in bluffing and raising blinds.
The player sitting on the right side of the Cut-Off is called a Hijack. This is the desired position where players want to play their cards. The hijack is blessed as he/she can steal a blind prior to the early positions.
- Early position - This is the place where the first move is made. The move is made by the player sitting on the left of the Big Blind who is also known as UTG. This is known as the early position along with the player succeeding the UTG known as UTG+1. The chain goes from UTG+1 to UTG+2 and so on.
- Middle position - In this place/position, you can act prior to some players like the Late positions but of course once the early positioners are done.
- Late position - As the name suggests, these are the last ones to make their move. But you are the luckiest one. Yes, this is the best position on the lot.
The Best Position on the Poker Table
Of course, the Late position is the most-loved place. You get time to make your call and you have an idea about all the moves that your opponents have made.
You have watched your opponent’s move and you know what’s best for you though your opponents know this, and they will play cautiously. But with this, you get more chances to bluff.
Along with that, you get a chance of stealing. Stealing means unfolding your weak hands intending to win blinds without having to hustle postflop.
The worst position on the poker table
It’s the small blind. This place requires you to act initially in all the rounds. It is advisable to fold and not risk in this position. Everybody will act after you, so they have higher chances of taking risks. This is one of the most cash-losing positions on the table.
It is clear by now that your positioning on the table is one of the most important parts of your poker strategy.
- Try taking a seat next to weak players, preferably on their left. This will help you in making most of your profits against them. You will have an advantage of position over them for most of the hands.
- Consider a single continuation bet if you are the last one to bet with the intention of thinking over the turn. Then you can examine the other players’ moves and act upon yours. If you are the first ones to make the move, then you don’t know what the other players will do which puts you in a tricky spot.
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