How To Play Position in Poker

One of the first things that any aspiring player should attempt to understand is the lesson of playing poker in position. This lesson alone can make the difference between being a winning player and a losing player and it is something that can be relatively easy to learn, but much more complex to master. The simplest lesson of position to learn is that every hand gains value the later in position you are playing. Certainly hands like aces, kings, ace-king, or queens are going to have a playable value no matter where you are on the table, but many other hands become playable or unplayable simply because of the position that you have been dealt them in.

In a nine player table position is often broken up into four different sections, early, middle and late position along with the blinds. The traditional rule is that the earlier in position that you are going to open the pot, the stronger your hand must be in doing so. The logic behind this is that if you open a pot in first position, known as under the gun, there is a potential that eight other hands are stronger than yours is. However as players fold in front of you, your hand becomes incrementally stronger as you know now there are a fewer number of potential players that can beat your hand as you open the pot. There are numerous materials online which can show the differences one should look for when opening a pot in terms of position at the poker table. However the simplest rule is that, your hands should be progressively stronger if you’re opening earlier in position and they can become progressively weaker as you are later in position. This does not necessarily mean you should be raising with deuce-seven every time on the button, but you will be more likely to succeed if you raise that hand on the button than you would be in early or middle position.

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