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The Importance of Position in Poker

Position in poker means your position relative to the dealer. The "dealer" is the player distributing the cards, and he rotates clockwise after each hand. If a professional dealer is used to distribute the cards, there is still a fictive placeholder representing him, which rotates at each hand.

So does position in poker matter?

It depends on the poker variation that you are playing. In most variations, such as community card poker variations (texas holdem and omaha) or draw poker variants, position matters and we will discuss this further down the article. But in all "Stud Poker" variations, position does not matter because the order of the betting is determined by the strength of the face-up cards.

Position in Draw, Holdem and Omaha Poker

positions in draw, holdem and omaha poker
The Positions at a Texas Holdem Poker table

If you have been playing Texas Hold'Em for a while, it is a good idea to start thinking about using more advanced strategies in order to tighten up your game. There are several techniques you can use beyond just playing the game and guessing what the other players might be holding, we will outline several tactics that you can use in order to give you an advantage.

Table position is something most people do not think will make much of a difference when playing online poker, and they are mistaken. There are three basic areas that you can be positioned in, and it is imperative to know about them if you want to start applying this advanced Texas Hold Em strategy.

We suggest you try this out in a free poker room rather than starting out in a cash poker tournament. There are three basic positions around the table: early position, middle position, and late position.

If you have a full game (10 player's total) and you are one of the first players to make a move, this is early position ("under the gun" (utg) as shown in the picture). The players in the middle of the action are in middle position, and after them you have late position ("cutoff" and "button"). The earliest position players post the "big blind" and the "small blind" to start the hand.

Early position is usually not the best place to be in for obvious reasons. Middle position has some advantages, but a few drawbacks as well. Late position is where you want to be, given the nature of the game late position is almost always the more desirable area to be seated in.

This is because all the players in front of you have already acted, and you can get somewhat of an idea of the kind of cards they are holding. In the earlier position, you have no idea what the players behind you will do, so you are basically betting blind with no clue whatsoever of what the players after you have.

The middle position is both good and bad for the following reasons. You have an idea of what the players in early position have and you know that you can influence what the people in late position may think of your hand.

Some advanced online poker players tend to like the middle position better because this gives them a great opportunity to bluff, but the drawback is that if any of the players after you have a great hand they will be able to see through your bluff fairly easily.

Early position is not generally desired, but it has an upside as well. Bluffing will not work as well for you in early position, but if you do have a strong hand you may end up having a slight advantage. In fact some players call UTG the new button, because sophisticated players will fold to a raise from under the gun, assuming that it is a monster hand, allowing for some well-timed bluffing from early position.

Now you have a better idea of how to play poker with ultimate bet rakeback using position as part of your strategy. When you are in the right position, believe it or not this can make or break the hand all by itself!


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