How Does Table Position Affect Strategy in Poker?

poker player adding chips to the potIf you are looking to gain the upper hand and take your poker gaming to the next level, then there are many different aspects of the game to learn. These separate those who are looking to take their poker gaming a little more seriously, from the more casual players out there.

One area that you can look into and learn from is the positions on a poker table, what they are, how they affect your game and what you can do when you are in these positions. Of course, as the game moves, you will experience each different position, so when you look into this, you need to fully understand each position of the game, not just one or two of them.

The best poker players have a strategy for playing that is fluid and can change depending on what is happening on the table. Part of the reason for the change should be your table position, as this can change the game a lot. Here we are going to look at the four different table positions you can be in, explain what each means for you, and how your strategy should change, depending on the position you are in.

The Different Poker Table Positions

poker chips big blind little blind tokens

When you join an online poker table, the first thing you need to do is assess the table and work out where you are compared to the dealer. This will tell you the position you are sitting in for the next hand and form the way in which your strategy will unfold over the next few minutes.

The four poker table positions are known as the following:

Early Table Positions in Poker

poker strategyThe early positions are what we will deal with first because these are the toughest positions to win from. The first three players sat after those who play the two blinds are sitting in seats that are known as early positions. When you are betting here, especially in the first of the three early positions, you have no idea about what is happening on the rest of the table, because you are the first or one of the first, to play after the blinds have been posted.

As you are in the toughest position on the table here, it is recommended that your strategy is a little more reserved than usual, because you have no idea what is coming next, from the players who are in a better position than you.

If you are going to play from these seats, you need to make sure you have a strong hand at your disposal, as you will not see any indication from others on the table before you bet.  You may also consider a straddle bet, raising the blind blind before the cards are dealt.

Middle Table Positions in Poker

poker is he bluffingNext up are three more positions, these are known as the middle positions, essentially 4, 5 and 6 on the table after the players that have placed the blinds on the table. When you are playing from these three positions, you are able to get a feel for what some players are doing on the table because you will see them bet before it gets to your turn.

This gives you an advantage over those players, as you are making a move after them, but there are other positions on the table that are better than the one you are sat in, if you are in a middle position, so you can’t be too forward with your moves.

In terms of your strategy from this position, the best angle to take is to play your own game, but at the same time, know that there are players to come behind you, who could rapidly change the way the game goes.

Late Table Positions in Poker

Poker AcesThere are two positions on the table which come into the late category. These are the cut-off position, which is the one sitting to the right of the dealer, and the dealer position. When you consider what you get from these positions, it is easy to see why they are the best two positions to be on the table. If you are going to be a little more adventurous and take a risk, these are the positions to do it from, as you have more chance here than anywhere else of winning a game with an average hand.

As the game begins, you will see which players bet and which fold around the table, before you have to make that decision yourself. If you see a lot of players fold, you can move forward with a hand that is not as strong, because you get the feeling that many on the table do not have strong hands themselves.

If there is one place across the entire table where you can be a little freer with your play, and take a few more risks, the late table positions are the place to do that. Given that many players like to play in this way, the positions are where many people see their best chance of having a big win.

The Blind Positions

poker chips betWhen you are in the blind positions, you will only have to make your first decision after every other player has played, as the blinds are played at the start and you don’t influence those. When it comes to you betting though, you have the advantage of seeing what everyone else has done before you, giving you the chance to use that and decide what you do next.

By the time the game gets back to you, the amount you need to bet could already be high, due to players raising in-game, or it could be low, and many players could have already folded and left the game. This is when you can jump in and potentially win a game with an average hand because you are not taking on too many players, as others have folded before you have to decide how you bet.

Adding Table Positions into Your Poker Strategy

Betting SystemsIf you are looking to take your poker play to the next level, then table positions are something you need to understand and use to your advantage. How you play the game will depend on many different things, and those include where you are on the table.

Some positions will push you towards being a little cautious, while others will put you in a position where you can attack a little more and try to go for the win. Use these in the right way, and they can really aid your poker strategy, and make you a more successful player.