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The value of the position at the poker table

 The value of the position at the poker table

Positions at the table are the first principle on which all Texas Hold'em strategies are based. And if you still have not figured out how the game in the big blind differs from the strategy of playing on the cut-off, put it aside the card, de-register in tournaments and read our review. This is not advice, but a prerequisite for success. 

What is a position and its types?

"The seat determines behavior," - This proverb describes the situation at the poker table as well as possible. After all, all your actions and even the expected profit depend on how far from the dealer you are sitting and at what hand is from him. That's just this "Seat" is called the position. And since the dealer’s mark shifts clockwise with each hand, the players at the table change their position.

There are 6 types of positions in poker:

  • Early Positions (EP)
  • Middle Positions (MP)
  • Cut Off (CO)
  • Button (BTN)
  • Small Blind Position (SB)
  • Big Blind Position (BB)

Positions are arranged strictly sequentially, starting from the third player located on the left hand of the player’s dealer.

Early position 

Depending on the size of the table, from one to two players can sit in an early position, and it is characterized by a narrow range of played hands. Agree, there are not many combinations of starting cards with which I would like to enter the game with an open raise, against a full table of opponents who have not yet spoken. Of course, limping is not so scary, but unprofitable.

In general, we would advise, depending on the style of the game, to open from 15% to 20% hands, and at the same time monitor the reaction of the middle position, button and cut-off. Their 3-bets will most likely have to 4-bet, since after calling you will find yourself out of position and with an easily readable hand.

Middle position 

Life in a middle position is a little easier. Experienced players open here under 25-27% hands. This is enough not to fall asleep, but too little for the blinds style. Once again, the button and cut-offs will be glad of your excessive activity and will always find a way to punish you with a 3-bet.

It should only be added that Middle Position is least suitable for re-raising. Even a strong pocket pair here is beneficial just to call.

Cut off 

One of the most profitable positions in the game is located on the right hand of the dealer and this is the cut-off position. On the one hand, you have already let half the table speak, and on the other hand, on the flop in a more advantageous situation there will only be a button. That is, it is quite difficult for the blinds to 3-bet your open-raises, since later they will be doomed to a difficult game after calling. 

But open-raises from early positions, we advise to rearrange with a suitable hand. It’s better to pick a tit preflop than chasing a crane to substitute squashes from those who are to your left.

With Cut Off, we recommend opening around 30% hands.


The button is the place under the dealer’s chip. This position is ideal for the blind style and has the advantage of postflop over the whole table.

For example, entering the game with an open raise BTN is allowed from 50% hands, killing the blind resistance with bluffs. Well, if you have a really good card in your hands, it will be more profitable for your opponent to call. It is only important to observe the measure in everything and understand what type of players you are betting against.

Small blind 

As experience shows, the hardest thing to play from the position of the small blind. Not only are you forced to bet ½ BB blindly, but also postflop trading will be opened with you. Under such circumstances, Cold Call is out of the question. If someone has already opened with a raise, you really have the right to protect only the top 10% hands. And the only hope for at least some profit is the style of the big blind. If BTN did not find the strength to steal it, God himself ordered you. Under such circumstances, poker math allows you to open up to 40% hands. Although, if everyone folds before you, there is a high probability that you have something worthwhile in your hands.

Big blind 

Luzrate BB is huge. Nevertheless, the money put into the blind partially unties your hands. If there is only one opponent left in the game, a call will guarantee to see the flop, and he may come up. The important thing is not to panic and learn how to protect your chips. Remember, the button and SB will often bluff in an attempt to steal someone else’s, and therefore if you manage to protect at least 20% of your bets, you can assume that you coped with the minimum task perfectly.

We hope that now you have understood how great the influence of the position at the table is and how the "seat" will determine your game strategy.

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