If you’ve ever heard anyone discuss poker, they’ve probably mentioned how crucial playing position is. Many claim that if you always had position, it wouldn’t matter what cards you held because you could consistently outplay your opponent. We’ll explore the specifics of Poker Table location and why it’s so crucial.
About Poker Table Position
Table position and hand position are the two different sorts of positions in poker. The seat you are in with respect to the button at the beginning of the hand is your table position. This doesn’t alter during the hand; the button only moves at the end of the hand.
The kind of cards you raise or call with preflop should depend on your position at the table, which affects your preflop range. In relation to your opponents, your hand position is where you are in the hand. Your options are:
- In position, or
- Out of Position
Being the last to act gives you a significant advantage because you know what decisions your opponents make before you have to make your own. Since poker is a game of limited information, having this informational advantage over your opponents will have a significant impact on your odds of winning. On the other hand, you will want to fold when you play out of position and your hand is not in the best possible range.
At a nine-player table, top position includes the first two/three positions in the table: UTG, UTG+1 and UTG+2 (although UTG+2 is sometimes considered the middle position). These positions of poker chipset are the first three positions of preflop action because they are located immediately to the left of the big blind and small blind.
From these positions, your preflop range should be the tightest range you have when it comes to raising and calling. You should note that when your opponent raises from these positions, they must have a strong range, so you need to be more careful when calling/raising from these positions.
After the first position comes the middle position and as the name suggests, it’s neither quite early position nor quite late position – it’s in the middle. It is made up of UTG+2, LJ (Lojack/UTG+3) and some people also consider the intermediate position as HJ (Hijack). From these positions, you don’t have to be as tight as the first two positions on the table but at the same time you can’t go crazy raising in a very wide range.
You’ll want to start adding more speculative hands to the preflop range that you won’t open in the early position; such as a lower fit connector, a lower pair of pockets, and a weaker ax handle. You can also be more aggressive when your opponent raises cards in these positions.
Late position is the last two/three positions of the table where you are not in the blinds and is made up of HJ, CO and BTN (SB can also be considered late position if the action is urgent in front of you). These are the positions where you can increase your widest preflop range, as these are the best positions to attempt to steal the blinds.
These positions are the strongest at the table because they combine their table position advantage with their card position advantage. Not only do you have to face fewer players to beat them, but if you get called, you will most likely be in a post flop position.
Advantage Information on Other Hands
The main reason why position is important in poker is because it gives you information about your opponents that they don’t have about you. By being the last to act, you can see them make a decision before you have to make yours. Not only can you see what their decision is, but if you play live poker, you can also see how they make that decision, giving you the opportunity to make a decision about your opponent.
On top of that, playing cards out of position is much more difficult because you don’t know what your opponent will do. By playing as many hands in the right position as possible, you can use the information your opponent gives you by acting first to make better decisions about how to play your hand.