Having position on an opponent means you get to act after he acts.
Usually this just means you are seated to his left, unless you are playing the hand from the blinds.
Being “in position” is a significant advantage when playing a hand, as your opponent has to act first every street.
When in position, you have the advantage of this additional information and you can also dictate the action better.
Knowing the table positions is a key factor to analyzing hands, and playing your cards optimally.
WHAT ARE THE POSITIONS?
The blinds are the forced bets, and have the worst position at the table. Not only are they forced to put money in the pot before seeing their cards, but they are also forced to play the pot out of position against the rest of the table.
At a full table (9 players), the first 3 players to act after the big blind are known as early position. The first player to act is also known as “Under The Gun” or UTG. The next to early positions are UTG1 and UTG2. Generally you should play the tightest range of holdings form these positions, as you still have a lot of exposure (players left to act).
The next 2 players are known as middle position. They include UTG3 and UTG4. UTG4 is also called the hi-jack position, as it is starting to creep into late position where most of the blind stealing occurs.
The last 2 player before the blinds are known as Late Position. They are also called the cutoff and the button. They will have the advantage of position throughout the hand against their opponents.
Most blind steal attempts happen from late position because it is unlikely that the blinds will wake up with a hand good enough to play. If they do play, you will have position on them. You should play the widest range of hands form these positions.
“Playing out of position is like walking through a dark cave with no flashlight. You never know what might lurk behind that next corner.”
PLAYING THE POSITIONS
Start to play the vast majority of your hands in position.
Practice by folding all of your hands, except for top 10 hands, if your are out of position.
Play your weaker hands only when you will have position on your opponents.
Implement this strategy into your game immediately and you will notice two things: the game getting easier, and your profits growing greater.
MORE INFORMATION = MORE PROFITS
Position is often overlooked by the beginner, but it shouldn’t be. Having position on your opponent plays a large factor in being able to control the pot, maximize value on your winning hands, and minimize losses on your weaker hands.
Furthermore, analyzing hands and putting your opponent on a proper ‘hand range’ is reliant on information. When your opponent is forced to act before you, any action they choose gives you more information that you can use to play your hand optimally.