It’s simple. If you wish to make the most out of your poker game, you need to be at the right position. Poker table positions matter a lot, and you will notice that as and when you progress by playing more poker games. The place you are positioned at the table decides for your limitations to bluff, your abilities to increase or decrease the pot size, your chances of predicting other players’ hands and guiding the pace of the game overall. Therefore, these positions are incredibly crucial as they heavily factor into the way you play your poker hands and the risks you take. So, to those wondering “are poker table positions worth the importance they get?” the answer is yes, poker table positions worth just about as much as the playing conditions on a cricket pitch.
What Makes Poker Table Positions Worth So High?
While they aren’t the only variable in deciding who takes home the pot; they do play a significant role in benefiting some and being not so helpful to others. Your position in the table is randomly drawn. Poker being a game where luck plays a vital role, these positions are determined purely on chance. Knowing how to play from a given table position vastly broadens your chances of reaching the showdown. While it is generally regarded that playing in late positions is your best bet; you have the potential of winning from all positions. Naturally, depending on the variant and the number of players playing, this position can also change. In some variants, they are more so than others. However, these can all be broadly classified as Blinds, Early Positions, Mid Positions and Late Positions.
Blinds are forced bets made at the poker table typically in games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker. This is not the best table position to be at while playing poker since you are obliged to place a particular bet without any way outs. This is done to make sure the winning pot has some value in it. Blinds comprise of the Small Blind and the Big Blind. The small blind is positioned to the left of the dealer position, and the big blind is positioned to the left of the big blind. The small blind has to make a minimum bet, and the big blind generally places twice as much, and hence their names are such.
The toughest place to play from is the early position at the poker table. This is the position that allows for little to no advantages because you are amongst the very first to act. You do not have enough knowledge about your opponents in the game to judge and assess what poker action should you make. Being at early position would mean that your best way to go about with it is to play the strongest hands possible and not attempt slow-play or any sort of bluffing unless you are absolutely sure of your calculations. You can be easily exploited at this table position if you do not judge wisely between calling and folding.
Not the best, yet far from the worst. Mid positions are good to play from since you have some idea of where the play is heading. Early position players have played their hands, so you have a rough estimation of which side the pot is being tilted. You can also play good hands apart from your most premium one and save that for later. Going for raises here is a particularly good option because it tells you about the aggression or conservation displayed by those who played before you. The only disadvantage is that you aren’t aware of the late position holders and so can’t predict their moves.
By far the best poker position to play from, late positions live up to their prize-winning reputation and gain even more. In terms of poker table positions worth, late position provides much-needed knowledge about the players playing at the table. You decide from this table position as to what happens at the next street. Players here are some of the last to act, and so they have a good idea of what’s going on in the game, who is strong and who is not. They can also tremendously bluff players into believing they have the best poker hand when they might not and thus take the pot. All in all, it is the best position you can play from.
Popular Table Positions in Poker
We have discussed the major categories in terms of playing the game of poker from certain positions. However, in a full nine-player poker table, you are sure to come across certain terms that you need to be familiar with.
The dealer button is from where the game technically begins because this is the mark from where cards are distributed. This is the best table position to play from since the player on the button is the last to act in a betting round. This position shifts to the one on the small blind spot in the previous hand.
Under the Gun
Under the gun is an infamous reputation given to the person to act first after the blind and seated to the left of the big blind. This is because it is a confusing spot to act from as nothing is known yet. Here you must play your strongest hand and hope to not get crushed, which usually never happens.
Cutoff is the term used to describe the player positioned to the direct right of the one on the button. Naturally, this makes it the second-best position to play from. This table position allows enough freedom to raise and bluff to take the pot.
Hijack is the player positioned to the right of the cutoff, making it another excellent late position to play from. You have a brilliant opportunity to steal the blinds from this spot, and it gives you the liberty to make strong raises as you know the competition at the table which has unfolded before getting to you.
Table positions in poker are a necessity to know of, and more importantly, you should know how to play from those positions. Each table position has its pros and cons, and while some are more profitable than the other, they can be used to your advantage if you know how it is done. You need to understand the psychology needed to play in each of those positions, and that will only happen when you play poker all the more. Wish to put it in some practice? Join the Spartan Poker app and register for our poker tournaments where you stand a chance to win real money in the most efficient poker system present online.