Seat Position in Texas Hold'em Poker

Seat Position

Position (your seat position at the table) is a big factor in Texas Hold' em Poker. Learning the proper strategies for the different positions can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful poker player. When playing in a Hold'em game or tournament, a button moves from one player to the next as each hand is dealt. The button represents the dealer. Following the button you have the big blind and the small blind.

Generally, you are considered to be in an early position if you are one of the first three players to act in the round (to the left of the dealer). You are in late position if you are on the button or one or two seats to the right of the dealer (the last players to act). Players in between are said to be in the middle position. The rule of thumb in a game of poker is that you can play more loose and aggressive in a later position, and consequently your game should be more tight and conservative in an early position.

Some Strategies for Playing in Late Position

It is always better to be in a later position at the table because you can see what the other players do before you need to act. This gives you an idea of what your opponents are holding. The button is the last position at the table and can make you money if played right in certain circumstances. If you are on the button and everyone else at the table has folded before you, this gives you the advantage to raise, no matter what you are holding, hoping that the SB and the BB (SB and BB as abbreviated by online poker players) will fold to you. Once in a while the SB or the BB will do one of 3 things. First, they may have nothing and fold. Second, they may not have much of a hand but feel that they must protect their blind and call your bet. Third, they may have a monster hand and re-raise you back.

Typically you would want to fold in this case if you are not holding good cards. If you are called by the SB or the BB player and the flop comes and they check to you, bet again - they may have flopped nothing and you can still take the pot. If confronted with a re-raise at this point and are still holding nothing, fold. If your opponent calls your flop bet, you must decide if you think that they have a good hand and whether or not to bet again on the turn. In this case I always keep firing bets on the turn and the river hoping to make them fold. You may bet once and get called, twice and get called, then bet on river and get them to fold.

Having good cards in a late position (especially on the button) or having good cards in the SB or BB (pre-flop) is great. You get to see what everyone else before you does and in turn make the correct play for the quality of cards you are holding. If you are holding KK before the flop in the BB (very last position to bet at the table pre-flop) and 4 other players have limped in calling the blind, you can go all in and if no one calls your all in bet you have just scooped up the blinds without having another player go in and draw against you. Even if you are called in this situation, you should feel good about your cards and about taking the pot after the cards are drawn out.

Once you learn about the differences of playing in the various positions by putting in time at ring games and tournaments, you will realize that you cannot skillfully play a game of Hold em without knowing how to use position to your advantage.

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