- Discover all you need to know about the power of position and how crucial it is to developing your poker skills.
- Your position in a hand as well as your opponents' position should have an immense impact on how you play that hand.
- Win more raising hands "in position" or conversely lose more playing hands "out of position".
You may have seen top poker players raise pre-flop with K-6 suited then a few hands later the same player fold K-10 suited. While you may have been baffled as to why they chose to play the weaker hand and fold the stronger one, it all comes down to one word - position.
Hand strength - ability to win - changes significantly based on where you are in relation to the button. Understanding position is a powerful asset when deciding what action to take.
The Why of Position
All poker professionals change the selection of hands they play, based on where they are sat at the table. When entering hands in earlier positions you are more likely to be challenged by players acting after you. The possibility of someone having a stronger hand is greater, because there are just more players left to act.
However, when playing hands closer to the button or even on the button you are less likely to face opposition. It's less probable that the blinds will have a better starting hand than yours - or that they will play back at you with something weak.
This means you can successfully and profitably play more hands "in position" (closer to the button), than you can "out of position" (further away from the button).
Calling in Position
While position is important in deciding whether to enter a hand pre-flop, it is also key to whether you should call pre-flop. Calling in position gives you the benefit of seeing the other players at the table act after the flop, before deciding what you should do.
Making this same play from a position like the small blind makes your life very difficult, post flop. You will be first to act. Trying to figure out what your opponents have - before they have acted - is nigh on impossible!
It puts you in a very tough spot.
Your opponent is probably going to bet if you to check to them, and if you bet you face the possibility of being raised. Now you have to determine whether they are bluffing, or if your middle pair is good. With three more betting rounds to go, it could get very expensive to figure this one out!
Hand Selection in Position
You should be playing a wider selection of hands in position. It makes good poker sense. You have the benefit of being last to act in each betting round. You can use your position to bluff, bet for value and control the size of the pot.
Keep in mind that more savvy opponents are using the same strategy. They will quickly determine that you are calling/ raising in late position with weaker hands.
They will try to combat your move by 3-betting your raises. Be prepared to change up your strategy in these instances.
Take a step back and wait for a big hand in position. Hopefully you'll then get that re-raise when you have the goods and can trap those "trickier to play" opponents.
Position is Power
In conclusion, there are plenty of factors to take into consideration when it comes to position, however here are three key elements:
- The later position you are in, the more hands you are able to raise as your hand strength increases.
- Think about how comfortable you will feel playing your hand post flop.
- Be aware of your image, tighten up your range if players left to act are capable of 3-betting a wide range of hands.
This article was brought to you by 888poker.