Any serious poker player will tell you that position is one of, if not the, most important thing in poker. But why and what does it mean?
Well, position is basically where you are seated in relation to the blinds, and relative position basically tells you when it’s your turn to act. So having position on someone means that it’s your turn to act after them, if you are out of position, you’ll have to act first.
So why is it so important? Well, for starters, you get more information when you are the last player to act. It usually also gives you more options on how to play a hand and leaves you guessing less often.
So, let’s look at some interesting aspects of position play and some things you should know…
Your position for the entire hand will be decided mostly preflop, so be aware of where you are sitting relative to the blinds.
Remember that you will always be out of position when you are in the small blind and always in position when you are on the dealer. Take this in to account when you make your decision about playing a certain hand or not playing it.
Also remember that raising players that limped(just called the big blind) before you will likely fold out the players after you and give you position for the rest of the hand.
Playing in position gives you a lot of options. Here are just some to consider:
calling a flop bet with nothing to take the pot away on the turn if your opponent checks
checking one of the streets to control the size of the pot with a mediocre hand and induce bluffs
raising to check back the next street for a free card with a draw
OUT OF POSITION
Playing out of position is way harder, since you won’t know what your opponent will do. The general rule is, that you should play more aggressively out of position to avoid situations where you have to play a guessing game.
This doesn’t mean you should go insane everytime, just that you shouldn’t let others exploit the fact that you are out of position too much. But remember, money in poker always flows to the person in position, so don’t spew too much when you don’t have it and don’t forget that fold is always the 0 EV option.