Everyone has their favourite positions. Be it institutional, professional, personal or on the poker table. And each position implies a distinct connotation. And so, the position of a player seated on a poker table matters a lot to a particular hand. This is the reason that the button keeps shifting. This is to ensure that the dealer, a.k.a. button does not get undue advantage in each hand, and this advantage is opportune to different players on the table.
Now, what all positions are there in a hand? Everyone is aware of the more common terms such as the small blind, big blind and dealer. But there are more positions in any hand. These are:
- Button: i.e. the dealer
- Small Blind: Sits right next to the dealer and calls in the mandatory small blind.
- Big Blind: Sits next to the small blind. Calls a mandatory big blind.
- Under the Gun: Sits next to the big blind. First, one to either call, bet, raise or fold in any hand. This is where the action begins.
- Middle players: All players other than the dealer, small blind, big blind, under-the-gun and cut-off.
- Cut-off: The player second to last, to make any call before the action finally goes to the dealer.
As you know, poker is a game of minimum information. That means the only sure information you have is the hole cards that you’re holding and the cards that open in the flop, turn or river on the board. All other information in Texas Hold’em Poker you have to gather from the moves of the other players sitting on the table. Therefore, the position becomes of utmost importance.
The reason behind this is that those playing later will know how the other players are placed as to their hole cards. Those calling, betting or raising will give a good hint to the player playing later on, on whether to play with the hole cards that they have. A size-able bet would define the winning chances of the players playing later. Throughout the game.
Dealer: The dealer sits on a crucial position as he is the last to make a move in every round, other than the pre-flop. The dealer can wait and watch the game of the entire table before he has to decide on whether to call, raise or fold.
Small Blind: Small Blind is a good position to start with, as in the pre-flop, the small blind, for half the amount of the other players’ calls, watch how other players are moving as to decide whether to call or not.
Big Blind: The Big Blind is strategically placed on the pre-flop. The big blind has to call last on the pre-flop. So unlike the rest of the hands, where the dealer has the chance to play last, the big blind can wait and watch, to see whether to call or raise.
Under the Gun: Under the Gun, or UTG makes the first call after the big blind. So the UTG can, by making a strategic 3-bet or straddle, change the course of the entire game. This raise can make the rest of the players holding hands of a lower strength, fold, before handing the game to the rest of the players.
Middle players: The middle players are important to see how to go about playing the hole cards. The middle players are not much of stake-holders in the action in a hand. But their importance is seen when they make sizeable bets and raises, to throw the other players off their course. The odds are not stacked in their favour, but they can turn this improbability in their favor.
Cut-Off: The cut-off is the last to play before the dealer. So, when the dealer is making his plans of calling or raising and is basing his play on the moves of the other players, the cut-off can throw the dealer off completely. By making a 4-bet or 5-bet, the dealer, who has better odds than the rest of the board, will have to rethink his entire gameplay, before making the move.
Thus, as is evident, each position has its distinct importance in each hand. There is a reason why the dealer keeps shifting clockwise throughout the game. Poker is also a game of equal opportunity. So, the game does not distinguish between players. It allows each player to bank upon his skill along with his position to take the pot!
And of course, to make the best of the position that you’re placed it, never forget to play a hand every day, just to brush your skills up. And if you’re wondering how to find the time to do so, just click on the 9stacks app on your phone, and let the app inspire you further to play some quality poker anytime anywhere!