Position at the Poker table – What it is and how to use it to your advantage.
Position at the Poker table is of major importance and just as much a part of the game as the cards you are holding. Using position to place proper bets can help you increase your chip stack while betting out of position or not using position properly can be costly.
Let’s talk about the table and how it is set up before we talk too much about position and betting. You need to be aware of exactly what position is so you can use it to your advantage.
At a 9 handed table, there is always a Dealer, the dealer is identified by a large chip with the words dealer on it usually and it rotates clockwise from seat to seat around the table after each hand. If a seat is empty it will skip that seat and move to the next seat with a player. The player that is the dealer for the hand is considered the Button. The Button is quite an advantageous position in poker and this will be explained in detail a bit later.
The next position is the Small Blind, this position is directly to the left of the dealer. This person is responsible for posting the table small blind amount before cards are dealt. So if you are playing on a $5, $10 table then this position is required to put $5 before cards are dealt.
To the left of the Small Blind is the Big Blind. The Big Blind is responsible for placing $10 if using the example above and is one of the better positions in poker.
The position just to the left of the Big Blind is the position Under the Gun. This is not a good starting position on the table. If you are holding cards you are considering betting it is almost always best just to fold in this position as you have 5 players behind you that, if they have the cards to play are in better positions to bet.
Position for the next four seats improves as it goes around, there are really no names for these seats but as you get closer to the dealer and the blinds you have more information to play with as you know who folded and who is still in the game.
The final position just to the right of the dealer is the Cutoff position. This position is the second best position in poker in my opinion. In the Cutoff Position, you have almost all the information you need to bet. You can see how many people folded, how many just called and how many raised. Finally, you have the option to call or raise and you only have the dealer and the blinds to deal with.
So what is the best position in poker? Well, that depends on who you ask but generally last to act is the best position in poker. The best position is therefore held by the player who is seated at the dealer button (He or she acts last after the flop), the worst position is the small blind (He or She acts first after the flop).
Play smart from each and every position and remember to read our blog about Tells and you may be able to pick off some decent pots while out of position.