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Understanding Position in Poker

Fortune Jack Poker

Position in poker refers to where a player sits relative to the dealer and determines the betting order in a betting round.

During a hand of poker, a player can be seated in the early position, middle position or late position. In poker, the later positions are always the better positions to be in as you get to act after other players have played their hands.

As the dealer button is moved one position clockwise after every hand, a player's position is always changing after every hand. So in the long run, each player should get an equal number of chances to play from the various positions.

Early Position

Defined as players sitting on the 3 seats to the left of the dealer. The 2 players to the left of the dealer also have to bet without knowing their hole cards since they are the small blind and the big blind. The player on the left of the blinds is said to be "under the gun".

This is the worst position in poker as players in this position are the first to act in the betting round.

Having to act without knowing how any of the other players played their hands, players in this position should play tighter.

You also run the risk of losing your bet when you are forced to fold after a highly aggressive raise by another player. If you are in a later position than that player, you would have folded and not have to waste that $10.

Middle Position

This is the middle ground position - not as advantageous as being in the late position but better than being in the early position.

Players in the middle position gets to know how the first few players have played their hands. In this position, you can play abit looser if all the previous players had folded.

Late Position

The player on the button (dealer position) and the 2 players to his/her right are said to be in the late position. This is the best position to be playing from in poker.

Players in the late position gets to be the last to act and they can see how the other players have played their hands. The information you gained from being in the late position allow you to play weaker starting hands or even fold strong hands like JJ or AQ.

Furthermore, in late position, you get to play certain starting hands that are only worth playing when pot odds are higher. Pot odds are higher when more players raised or called. For example, if many players called, you can play with connecting suits or low pocket pairs in the hope of drawing a straight,  flush or a full house.

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