Poker variants typically comprise multiple table positions. Players are advised to know about these positions prior to joining a game of poker. Among others, these positions include the blinds (small blind & big blind) and the button. Position is best defined as where a player sits in relation to the dealer. It has a significant impact on whether you’re going to be first or last to act in a betting round.
With online poker games, all dealing is automatically undertaken by the RNG (random number generator). However, for traditional purposes, one of the players is defined as the dealer, or a ‘Player in the Button.’ All players in a game of poker will likely have this ‘button’ role, as it moves to different players each new poker hand. The game is structured according to the position of the button.
It is always preferable to be in the button in games like Texas Hold’em, because after the flop the person on the button is always last to act in the betting rounds.
Understanding Player Positions
Players in this position are typically seated in the 3 seats left of the dealer. This is a highly unfavorable position to be in because you are going to be the first to bet without any knowledge of how other poker players will play the round. It is advisable that players in early positions limit themselves to wagering on premium hands only (hands with a high value & high likelihood of winning). This is directly because it is uncertain what the actions of other poker players will be.
This position is made up of players after the early position players. In this position, players can see the actions of all the early position players before they themselves are required to act. This is a great indicator of the strength of the EP players’ hands. Betting is however not limited to premium hands in the middle position, but caution is certainly the order of the day.
As a result of their unique position, MP players are likely to bluff in online poker games. They have an advantage because they have already seen the hands before them and only a few hands remain in front of them.
Players able to get into this table position have the ultimate advantage in poker games. This position is comprised of the last players – the dealer and all others sitting directly to the dealer’s right. Poker players in the late position have already seen most of their opponents act. The last player to act in the LP has the best possible advantage owing to:
• Having already seen everyone else play their round of poker
• Enjoying a wider range of starting hands than other players
• Nobody being able to raise this player’s call
Prior to initiating any moves in games of poker, it’s always advisable to consider the current table position. Early position players need to exercise maximum caution and only place bets on premium hands. Middle position players have the advantage of bluffing and have greater flexibility. Late position poker players have the best advantage, provided it is not over-estimated.