Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Poker Table Position Matters

poker table position

Most poker players who have been around the game for a while know that to win a person has to be both lucky and good. It is easy to tell what exactly the luck factor is, however, the skill part of playing poker is more of a gray area. Most players equate skill with being able to correctly read an opponent, or choosing the right hands to play. The truth is that being able to decide when it is a good idea to play a certain hand and when it isn’t, based on where a player sits with respect to the dealer, is equally important.

There are few hands that a player can raise and enter a pot with without giving concern to where he or she is betting. These hands are the obvious ones, such as pocket Aces or Kings. On the other hand, when dealt a hand such as Ace-Eight or Ace-Seven, entering any pot recklessly can result in big losses. With a hand like that, one high card and one average kicker, it is best to only bet into pots with as few players as possible. The problem is that if you call or raise in the wrong position, you have no way of telling how many players will be doing the same.

This is where poker table position comes into play. Someone sitting directly to the left of the blinds will have to act first in the pre-flop betting. In this case, it is probably best to only make a small call with a mediocre-good hand if not a fold. On the other hand, someone sitting to the right of the blinds will be able to full analyze the situation and see how many players enter the pot or what, if any, raises are made. In this position, calling or folding is a much easier decision and it is a good idea to enter the pot if it is not too expensive or overfilled with other players.

Finally, it is equally critical to realize that if you are in fact the player who has to blind, whether it be small or big, then you are in the best position of all. Not only do you not have to give away having a playable hand by entering the pot, but you also get a pass on playing cards that are easily foldable in any other position. Not to mention the fact that the players who blind are the last to act unless there is a raise.

If you are just looking to have a good time and don’t care much about winning money or playing serious poker, than it is easy to overlook using table position as an advantage. But all the professional players, and the good amateurs, know the importance of using where they are sitting to determine whether or not it is worth playing so-so hands. The more hands you can play in small pots, the better chances you have to win big by the end of the night. So do yourself a favor and don’t mechanically call or fold poker hands.

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1 comment:

Lucilla said...

Being the last is the best positon because you will have enough time to examine your opponents, analyse the situation and make your best decision.