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Why Position Matters in Texas Hold’em

by Tyler Ariel

Almost every poker player you chat with will casually state position is huge in poker without further elaboration. It’s one of the cliché poker sayings that goes around casinos and online communities, isn’t it? For beginners who are new to poker, clarity and concise explanation is needed otherwise they will never learn to master one of the most challenging poker variants around. That’s why in this article we are going to explain why position is important in Texas Hold’em and how to use it to your advantage in cash games and tournaments.

More information available in later position

Acting after your opponents is an advantage at the poker table as you get to see what they do first. This is a great benefit as it means you don’t have to invest anything to see what they will do or react to each round of betting.

 It affords you the opportunity to manipulate the pot how you want by betting, re-raising or checking/folding. Acting last also allows you more flexibility to bluff. A check in poker is commonly associated with weakness. After all, most players will bet their strong hands for fear of losing value. This is especially true on the softest poker sites online.

Opportunity to play wider range of hands

Playing in later position and acting after your opponents also means you can play more speculative hands. It’s common knowledge that average hands need to be mucked in earlier position as you have lots of players yet to act. However, if it folds to you on the button, there’s only two opponents left to act. This means you can justify playing a wider range of hands. This could include any hands containing an ace, suited kings, connectors and any pocket pair.

It’s fun playing a looser style of poker and this is something you can get away with easier from later position. You aren’t only relying on hitting your hand or perfecting your poker face but recognising there is ways to win through stealing pots pre-flop or finding a bluff on a later round. This is tougher to do in earlier position and certainly harder when the pots are multi-way too.

The later position seats are where the profits are

Most poker professionals use software to track their key stats. It’s almost a universal truth that the majority of poker players profits originate from the later position seats. This because you’re acting after your opponents. As mentioned earlier, you have more information than your opponents due to acting after them. Texas Hold’em is a game of incomplete information so if you have more than others, you are in better position to win.

We recommend you download and trial some of the latest poker tracking software and see for yourself. Perhaps check the data once a month to see where your profits and losses are. You can reasonably expect the blinds to be positions you do worst from due to the forced bets, but the other positions will reveal more interesting insights.

Image Source: Unsplash

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