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Position Play

Knowing how position effects you is vital for your poker strategies in poker games online. Ranking second only to the starting cards, position play is incremental. In Texas Hold’em, unlike in stud, the betting order changes so you need to be constantly aware of where you are in relation to the other players.

Prior to the flop, the player to the left of the big blind will bet first. After the flop the player to the left of the button will be the first to act. You are in a weaker position when you are the first to act because one or many of the other players can raise you. You might even fold after several raises without ever having seen the cards. It also means that you won’t know how many players are going to call or fold.

When you are sitting higher on the playing order an early pre-flop bet can be made as a tentative move in the hopes of getting good communal cards and confirming the option to bet after seeing how everyone else has played already. There are 169 2-card starting hands in Texas Hold’em and of these, 80 are worth playing while only 24 are worth playing right from the start.

The table below will give you a good idea of the table positions with the relative strengths and weaknesses if you were playing in a 10 player game:

Table Position in a Ten Player Game

  1. Small Blind – Early Position. Under the Gun after the flop.
  2. Big Blind – Early Position. Has the option of checking on first round before the flop.
  3. Under the Gun – Early Position. Acts first before the flop.
  4. Early – Second person to act before the flop.
  5. Middle – Third person to act before the flop. Middle after the flop.
  6. Middle – Play a few more starting hands if no raises.
  7. Middle/Late – May be considered middle in aggressive game.
  8. Late – Second to last after the flop.
  9. Dealer Button – "On the Button" acts last after the flop.