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position in poker

Does your position in poker matter?

Say you are in the casino, and there are nine players round the poker table playing Texas Holdem, and you are three to the left of the dealer. Should you play a different poker strategy than if you are sat to the right of the dealer? This is a question of early and late position in and around the poker table.

An experienced poker player and true poker pros know the answer to that question – and would say, yes, it makes a huge difference. This is true both live in the casino and when playing poker online. In other words, position in poker is crucial. Position in poker can have a huge factor in determining whether or not you have a good chance of winning the hand.

If you are sitting to the right of the dealer at the poker table, that means you will have had the opportunity to see all the different decisions that your opponents have made before you have to make a decision of your own. This gives you an advantage. For example you might be able to sense weakness around the table, e.g. a couple of your opponents have already folded, someone else just bet a small amount, no-one has raised so far. This might give you the opportunity to make a big bet and force lots of players out of the game. You might even win the pot before the game has reached the flop! It can happen! You might get the opposite information, however. A sense that quite a few people have strong cards, which allows you to fold without having to spend money on a bet you then fold on later.

Paul Phua reckons that too many amateur players who start out in Texas Holdem play the wrong hands related to the position they are sitting in. The mistake they often make, he thinks, is playing the same way whether they are sitting under the gun, or in the cut-off position (By the way, if a lot of words or phrases you hear in poker like “under the gun”, or “cut-off” confuse you, then check out this explanation of common poker terms on Paul’s poker site).

Paul Phua thinks you should be very aware of where you are around the table. There are hands Paul Phua plays in a late position that he wouldn’t dream of playing in an early position during poker games. The video runs through a few of what they are – useful pointers for you to get you started. In short, there are opportunities you have playing late during poker games that you don’t have playing early. In the video, Paul Phua shows you how you have to totally change your style and poker strategy during your poker night.

Please read our video script on the importance of Position in poker here.

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