What are Table positions in Poker?
Are you a poker fan? The game has been one of the most popular casino card games around the world for decades. There’s a reason why it remains a timeless classic – it’s dependably fun! Once you master basic strategy, you will be surprised at how easy the game becomes. You might not win every time, of course, but you’ll never find yourself lost. But how do you get started?
Poker is a rewarding game, but it can be confusing to new players. Even learning the difference between the Omaha and Texas Hold’em rules might be intimidating, and terms such as ‘cutoff poker’ and ‘poker button’ probably don’t make a lot of sense at first. This is where mastering basic strategy comes in. Taking the time to learn the poker fundamentals such as table positions in poker can help you play with confidence.
As poker fans ourselves, we want all aspiring poker players to have a great time. That’s why we’ve put together an overview on poker positions. The topic isn’t always the easiest to understand, but don’t worry – from poker blinds to late position poker tips, we have the strategy tips you need to win.
poker positions explained
‘Poker positions’ refer to poker player positions. Every position represents a player and indicates where they are sitting around the table. Table positions can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on where you end up. Before we dive into the best and worst poker table position, there is one term you need to understand.
All poker positions are described relative to the poker ‘button’. The button does not refer to a physical button at all, but rather a person. The dealer position is the button, and poker table positions revolve around the button for an important reason. The button doesn’t bet until the round is nearly at an end – they are the last to bet. This position is a huge advantage because it allows players to make the most informed bets possible after everyone else has already gone.
The best position in a poker game is ‘on the button’. This refers to the player who is sitting in the dealer position and therefore bets last.
With that explained, here are the four different table positions you should know:
- The blinds
- Early position
- Middle position
- Late position
Let’s take a closer look at each of these and what they mean.
Blinds in poker
The ‘blinds’ in poker refer to players who bet blind due to their position. Poker table players have two different blind positions to worry about. The small blind and the big blind each come with their own challenges.
‘Small blind’ refers to the position sitting one to the left of the button. ‘Big blind’ refers to the position sitting one to the left of the small blind. The blinds and button positions move every round. That’s why it is important to remember that these positions are tied to each other, rather than specific seats at the table.
The main challenge of the blinds position is that players must make mandatory bets before the hand begins. A game with a minimum bet of $10 and a maximum bet of $20, for example, will see the small blind bet $10 and the big blind bet $20 before the round begins.
Early position in poker
Preflop betting rounds begin with players seated immediately to big blind’s left. In games with nine hands, this position is considered ‘under the gun’ poker, or UTG poker, and is one of three early positions at the table. Early positions are called that because they act first. They act early in the round – therefore, they are early positions.
After the UTG player acts, the active hand moves to the player on their direct left. Because the early positions are at a disadvantage, strategy and ranges at the opening of the hand should be tighter than later in the game.
Middle position in poker
The two middle positions are known as the ‘lowjack poker’ and ‘high jack poker’ positions. Sometimes also spelled ‘lojack’ and ‘hijack’, the lojack position poker player acts first preflop in six-max games. They can also be called UTG players in six-max games.
Middle positions are more advantageous than early positions, but they still require caution when acting.
Late Poker positions
The button and cutoff poker positions are where the bulk of your money will be made. Known as ‘late positions’, the button and cutoff players have the advantage of acting last. Players in the button position can begin to open 40% of their hands or more, and the cutoff position can also begin expanding their opening ranges. This strategy often leads to both blinds folding and the button progressing to the pot uncontested.
If you find yourself in a late position, you are in a perfect position to win. Remember that you can be more aggressive in this position. Many good players even open 40% or more of their hands on the button. This is a very aggressive strategy, but it can also be a good one if you know what you are doing.
Final thoughts on positions in poker
Poker positions seem much more complicated than they are in practice. There are truly only a few to remember while you are playing, and once you memorize them, you’re good to go. It is important to remember that player position can seriously impact strategy, so change your plan as you go depending on your position. Don’t worry if all of this seems a bit too complicated! Practice makes perfect. All you need is a little experience under your belt and it will all make a lot more sense.
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