Benefits of Position and How it Affects your Hand

Now we have established that you need to play a tight game but when you get a great hand you need to be aggressive. Here is an important lesson regarding the position. Take a look at this poker table. Every seat has got a number which is in relation to the position of the player who is paying the Big Blind. After all the cards have been dealt the person in Seat 1 will be the first to act, Seat 2 will be next and so on, until the action reaches the player on the button. The button represents the nominal dealer (don’t worry the software deals for you) and that is the best seat you can get.

The button has the advantage

After a flop and until this hand is over the player on the button will have the huge advantage of acting last every round. That means that you can see and react to every other players action before it is your turn. The player with the worst seat is the one in Seat 9 who is paying the Small Blind. If he chose to play in this hand he will be the first to act every round thus do not have any kind of information from the other players.

In general you need a stronger hand to enter a pot the closer you are to Seat 1 clockwise. Playing a hand like King Queen from Seat 1 to Seat 3 is not a good idea since there can be a raise and even a re-raise later on, forcing you to fold the KQ when the action comes back to you and you have thrown a bet away. The player with the best position (the button) on the other hand, can be assured that no raises has happened when it is his turn and easily pay the 2 $ with a King and a Queen. Even if the SB or BB raises KQ is still a good hand to hold on the button. The whole thing about position can be a bit confusing at first but after a few hours of play it should become obvious why this is something you need to take into consideration. The position a player has at the table changes the value of the two cards he is holding.

The middle pairs

The most prominent proof of this is when we take a look at middle pocket pairs (99,88,77,66,55). When you play hands like these you usually need to hit a set giving you 3 of a kind. The odds of hitting a set is roughly 1 in 8.5 which means that you probably need to have at least 3 or 4 other players in the pot with you (the more the merrier with middle pocket pairs). When you are in late position to act you can see if the amount of players needed to play your hand is there, but if you play 66 from Seat 1, then Seat 2 raises and everyone else folds, you suddenly find yourself heads up against a player who most likely got a better hand than yours thus not giving you the amount of money in the pot to make a long term profit with the kind of hand you have.

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