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Playing Position

Article By: RuffPoker.com

Perhaps one of the most important but unrealized strategy in poker is learning how to properly play in the right position. The majority of people that play poker do not even realize what playing position means. In fact, the majority of individuals that play poker do not really know anything except how to play their cards. All other factors are not calculated into the way that they think. That is the main reason why there are the select players who are able to make a good amount of money participating in the game of poker.

When you are playing poker you should be totally focused and thinking about every aspect that goes into the game. No matter what strategy you are using, the fact remains that one wrong decision can ruin your whole night. When you play this game you have to use your head, and that is the only way to win. Playing position is one of those things you should always be thinking about. It is so important that it actually effects how good any given hand is. That means that you could have Ace (H) King (H), and it will be worth more in one position then it would be in another.

What exactly is playing position?

Just in case you do not already know; playing position is simply the position at the table that you are playing from. The further away from the dealer that you are, the better your position is (with the dealer being the best position). The main reason why one position is better then any other is because you have the ability to act last in later position. It is normally a disadvantage to act before other players for a variety of different reasons. The worst position to be in is the small blind (directly left of the dealer). The reason for this is because that person is first to act, meaning they have to make a decision to bet or check before anyone else.

The importance of good position

There are a variety of different reasons why position is so important. The first and most important reason, is because it puts you in control. When you have late position you get to see the rest of the table act and make decisions. Not only does it give you more time to think, but it also allows you to put your self in the position to get a good read on your opponents. Once it does get around to you, the good position enables you to take control. Along with the control comes better decision making. Having the right position allows you to make the right decisions. If you have a mediocre hand, and you are first to act it is hard to decide what to do. If you are last to act, you can let your opponents make the decision for you. The reads you get on them will tell you how good your mediocre hand is. Those reads would not be possible without your later position.

Just like mentioned before, the same exact hand can be worth more or less in different positions. There are some hands that you normally would not play, that you would play in good position. Not only for pre flop reasons, but also for what you will encounter after the cards are laid out.


If you have A(d) 10(h) in a full game this would be considered a mediocre hand. If you were in early position you would more then likely fold this hand. The reason why is because, if a player in later position raises you have to assume there is a good chance, that player has an Ace with a higher kicker, making your hand dominated. There is no way to know from early position what the other players will do. If you are in late position and the pot is right, then this is a playable hand. In fact, it may even be a very good hand.

There are a lot of reasons why playing position is the key. The best way to learn how to effectively play position poker is by doing it. The more you take advantage of position, the more you will figure out. Just by playing that way, you will see how much goes into this strategy. Considering that so many people do not even know what it means, this alone will greatly increase your edge over opponents. If there is one skill that you are going to increase, playing position poker is the way to go. You will see more of a difference in your game then you could ever imagine.