When playing a poker game, some positions are more profitable compared to others. To distinguish the poker positions, every seat has a name with unique characteristics. As such, every poker position involves a different strategy to help the player to remain competitive and profitable. While the best play isn’t tied to specific cards, the player must account for his position when choosing a strategy.
Here are some of the positions available:
Big blinds (BB) – The big blind pays with two at the bottom left.
Small Blind (SB) – The small blind pays with one to the bottom left.
Button (BTN) – The best position on a table, it’s on the right side of the blinds.
Cutoff (CO) – This is the second-best position in a poker table, located right of the Button.
Hijack (HJ) – Located right of the Cutoff. This position is also known as the Middle Position on a six-max poker table.
Lojack (LJ) – On a six-max table, this position is known as Under the Gun (UTG), located at the Hijack’s right.
Middle Position (MP) – Situated right of the Lojack, this position is exclusively found on a full ring.
Under the Gun (UTG) – Found exclusively on full ring tables, this features the three earliest poker positions, UTG+2, UTG+1, UTG.
The Button’s Role
On a poker table, the positions are not fixed. However, their relationship to the Button dictates each seat’s position, moving a seat clockwise after every hand. In live poker games, the Button is marked with a plastic disc and represented graphically when playing online. However, in home games where there’s no designated dealer, the seat holding the dealer button deals with the current hand.
Learning About Poker Positions
Poker positions are used to define the position that the players sit to the dealer and also dictates whether you’ll be first or last to place the wager.
- Early Positions
These are players sitting three seats next to the dealer. They’re considered the worst poker positions since they’re the first to act without knowing how the other players will play their hands. For instance, you’ll have to decide whether to raise, bet, fold, or check with limited information about the other players. That’s why it’s always advisable to play the best cards while you’re in these positions. That means cards that are powerful enough to carry the day without help from fancy moves by other players.
- Middle Positions
As the name suggests, the middle positions represent the three seats at the center of the circle. At this position, you get to see the moves that players in the early position make before you act, though there are still several other players that will play after you. Generally, you can relax when playing in the middle position compared to the early position. However, you still need to be careful.
- Late Position
This is the best poker position, as it allows you to have enough information about all the other players before you make a move. Unless you’re the Button, it can be advantageous to raise the hand more aggressively than when sitting in the positions next to the dealer. Additionally, the players in late position can take the hand simply by betting, especially if no one has placed a bet in the round.
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