Basically, there are three types of positions at the poker table: early position, middle position, and late position. Below you can find more details about these positions.
Table positions are one of the most underestimated things when it comes to playing poker. And as it turns out, one of the most important. It is the order in which players sit around the poker table. Positions in poker may have a great impact on your wins and losses. It is good to be aware of the fact that certain positions in poker will determine your profits in poker sessions. Even more important is the position relative to the dealer’s position.
Early positions are called shortly EP. Basically, early position players are the ones who have to act first preflop and just after the blinds postflop. The main disadvantage is that the first player does not know what to expect from the players behind him. The probability of being beaten by a stronger hand rises with every player left to act behind you.
In early positions, it is recommended to play only the best, strongest cards because there is really no information from other players at that point. When the table is full (9max), there are two early positions. In Texas hold ’em, they’re called Under The Gun (UTG) and UTG+1.
From the UTG position, you can play something like the range you see above, about 10% of hands, and by playing I mean opening the pot by raising.
Pocket pairs from fives to aces, all the suited broadway combos JTs, QTs+, KTs+, ATs+, offsuit ace-king and ace-queen, and ace-five suited.
From UTG+1 you could play the same or add a few more hands like offsuit ace-jack or ten-nine, and nine-eight suited.
Middle positions are called shortly MP. Being in the middle position you can see the plays of the players in the early positions and the blinds, Still, you can’t see the players behind you. So the situation is better than in the earlier positions, but you have to remain cautious because you have stronger seats ahead of you and they will have position on you should they choose to play the hand.
Middle positions are Middle position (MP) and Lojack (LJ).
From middle position you can add much more and open something like 13% of hands you can see on the below graphic:
So you are playing ace-ten+ both suited and offsuit, all the pocket pairs, all the suited broadway combinations, ace-five suited, and ten-nine and nine-eighth suited.
From the LoJack (MP+1), you should add even more hands and open around 16% of hands as shown below:
We added here king-queen and king-jack offsuit, ace-nine and ace-four suited, and eight-seven, and seven-six suited.
The best position at the poker table is the dealer and the player at his right. Late positions are Hijack (HJ), Cutoff (CO), and Button (BTN).
These positions give you quite a lot of information about the situation at the poker table. You know how most of the players decided to play their cards. This knowledge gives you choice whether to call, bet, raise or fold.
This position is also called a betting position because as long as no one has bet in a certain round, you may win just by simply betting.
From the Hijack you will get more profits than from previous positions and this should be true for each next position as you are moving closer to the BTN.
As you have already noticed, from UTG we opened about 10% of hands, from MP about 13%, and LJ 16% so you may say we play quite similarly in all of these positions.
As in the core hands are the same, and as the position gets closer to the dealer button, we are adding more and more hands.
Also, keep in mind that we are discussing opening the pot as the first person to raise. If there have been raises or limps before you, you need to adjust (tighten up) your range.
So from the Hijack we are opening roughly 19% of hands which are all the suited aces, all the suited broadway cards, ace-ten+ offsuit, king-queen, king-jack, and queen-jack offsuit, suited connectors six-seven+, and one suited one-gapper jack-nine.
Of course the ranges I am suggesting are just a reference point for you. Sometimes you can play some more hands, sometimes you can play less, it depends on the players who will act after you and whether they are tight (you can play more) or loose (you should tighten up) and it vastly depends on your experience (as you get more practice, you will be able to play more hands profitably – at the beginning, you should play the least amount of hands).
The second best position at the table is Cutoff – sometimes, when the Button does not play the hand – The Cutoff position gives you the position in the hand.
Therefore from CU, you should open at least the below range which represents 27% of hands:
The main changes compared to the HJ position are that we are now playing all the broadway cards, suited or offsuit, ace-five offsuit+, all suited aces, suited connectors from six-five above, and a couple of one gappers: jack-nine, and ten-eight.
Button – the best, the strongest seat which gives you a chance to play a huge range of hands.
You should open the biggest amount of hands from the BTN, but how would that look like?
It would like something like what you see above, around 47% of hands. I won’t go into detail about what these are as there are quite a few of them 🙂
Blinds are the seats which are said to be the worst seats in the whole poker game. Usually, players make a loss there. It is not hard to make a loss when you play first. You never know what other players are going to do and they know everything about your move as soon as you do it.
Small Blind (SB) – This is the worst seat in a game of poker. Players sitting left from the BTN (Button) (that is the best seat in the poker game) are forced to make a bet without seeing their cards first. The Small Blind needs to put in half of the big blind so if the stakes are $1/$2, the SB puts in $1 blind before the cards are dealt.
Your opening range should be very similar to the BTN range and in tournaments, it may also be a good idea to add a few limps to your range, as you are getting excellent odds to limp if the ante is in play.
You should definitely avoid calling from the Small Blind, it is the worst seat in the game and it will often be difficult to realize your equity in a multi-way pot as you will be forced to fold way too often by weaker hands that have position over you.
It is generally better to have a 3-betting range consisted of strong hands and some weaker bluffs for balance, and take initiative reraising the pot and reducing the number of players in a hand so playing more of a 3-bet or fold strategy from the SB.
Big Blind (BB) is a little bit better, this player has one move before him, that he can see before making his bet. Still, this is not a profitable seat. Having to front up money before you can see your hand makes you lose almost every time. The Big Blind needs to put in the minimal bet (big blind) so if the stakes are $1/$2, the BB puts in $2 blind before the cards are dealt.
So what is the best position in poker?
As mentioned before information is the thing that is the most important in Texas Hold’em and that is why being in position (which means being the last person to act in the hand) gives you a tremendous advantage because you have more information about the hand than other players have (you know what action they took).
Late positions are thus more profitable and let you play more hands – simply because you know what players before you did.
As soon as you start paying attention to your position, you will start making more profits from your game. In poker position is KING.