Table position in Texas hold’em is oh-so-important when it comes to your chances of success on the felt.
Where you sit relative to the dealer button significantly impacts the decisions you make and the outcomes of your hand.
Understand and utilise this effectively and you can go from fish to shark in no time.
All eyes on the dealer button
The dealer button moves clockwise after each hand. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing with friends, at a cool poker room or multi-tabling online, everyone gets a shot at being the dealer. This doesn’t mean you’re actually dishing out the cards (although if you’re playing at home, you might do just that), but it’s all about who acts when. The three primary positions at the table are early, mid and late. We’re going to tell you why they matter and how you can use each position to your advantage.
Seated in the early position, these players are first to act after the blinds. This can be a tricky spot because you have so little information about the strength of your fellow players’ hands. Exercise caution and only play premium hands when you’re in early position. If you want our advice, stick to the best hands and only play with a limited range.
Careful hand selection and a conservative approach really pays off when you’re playing in early position.
Things get a little better when you’re sitting in middle position. You’re more informed than those early players because you’ve seen how they’ve chosen to act. Having said that, you still need to be cautious of those late position players. Loosen up and expand your hand range a little, but don’t go overboard. It still pays to be cautious when you’re playing in mid position seats.
Also known as the button or cutoff, late positions are like poker magic. They’re the best seats on the table to play on and every player always loves when it’s their turn. You act last when you’re in late position, so you have the more information than the other players. This position of power means you can potentially steal pots with weaker hands and play a wider range of hands too.
This lets you control the size of the pot effectively too. If you have a strong hand, you can bet bigger to build the pot. Meanwhile, if you’ve a weaker hand up your sleeve, you can use this position to make smaller, more cautious bets. Or else go hell for leather and bluff, forcing your opponents to make tough decisions without a whole lot of information to go on,
You can also gather information and exploit the weaknesses of your opponents. As well as that, you can dictate the flow of the hand. A great feeling to have.
Table position in Texas Hold’em examples
Want some real world examples? We can sort you out. If you have a marginal hand like a suited connector or a small pocket pair, playing from early position might put you at a disadvantage. However, in a late position seat, you can enter the pot with a raise or call, knowing you have the opportunity to see how other players react before making your next move.