Know Your Postition
Know Your Position
In any game of poker you are left with some information and then other information that is left out. You then have to use the information you are given to figure out the hidden information. The more information you have the easier it is for you to decide what the best play will be. Everything that your opponent does gives you more information about what is going on and what cards they hold. Each piece of information that you get is one step closer to figuring out exactly what you need to do to win the most money.
One of the top ideas that pro level players talk about is the importance of position. If you have position you are in control. Being in position leaves you with loads of options that being out of position doesn’t. When you have position you limit the options of your opponent so that they have less of an ability to exploit you.
Playing Hands Out of Position
When you are out of position in a hand you are in a bad situation against your opponent. Instead of you getting extra information before you have to act your opponent does. They get to see what you do before they pick which play they want to make. This makes it harder for you to decide what play is the correct play and can ultimately make you lose money because of it.
When you are in early position you want to play significantly tighter to be sure that you are not out of position with a hand that the decision making can be tough on. As long as you are playing stronger hands when you are out of position you make up for the advantage your opponent has by being able to see you act before they have to.
Playing Hands In Position
In poker you want to play the larger majority of your hands in position against your opponent. That means that you want to act after they do in the hand so that you can see what they are doing. Poker is a game of information and knowing what their action is before you take yours is much more information. This means that you have more information to help you make up your mind about the strength of their hand.
When you are in position it is very important that you loosen up so that you make up for how tight you play in early position. You can loosen up a little more when in position because not only do you have position as an advantage, but there are less people you have to make fold to steal the blinds. Stealing the blinds is very important as well.
You want to be betting more in position because it is so easy to make money this way. You can raise preflop and take down the blinds or get called by an opponent or two. Even if you do get called when raising with your medium strength hand you can normally take down the pot simply by betting again on the flop. If your opponent makes a large bet on the flop then you haven’t lost much because you can just fold.
Be the Aggressor
Right now there are a lot of loose passive players in the field at almost any site that you play at. These players like to play a lot of hands in a lot of little pots. They want to see the flop and make a pair or something and then check/call down to see if they won. This means that it is up to you to build the pot against them. Since they also call preflop and fold on the flop, raising in late position and then betting the flop will be a common line against these players.
Even when you are in late position you are still only opening up to about a little over 20% of hands. PokerStove is a great program to figure out what range you of cards you want to be playing with the percentage of hands you are looking to play. Since you are playing a significantly less amount of hands than your opponents you want to make sure that you are aggressive to get as much money out of those hands as you can.
Being out of position makes it a little harder to be the aggressor because you are limited in the number of plays that you can make against them. Your opponent has such an advantage because when you have a good hand you are forced to bet so that your opponent can’t just check behind you. If you do check and your opponent checks behind you then you are missing that whole street’s worth of value and ultimately even more money.
Being Positionally aware
As long as you are an observant player you should be able to avoid too many situations in which you are out of position against your opponent. The more you play the easier it will be to know how to handle being out of position and what is involved in playing correctly that way. As long as you minimize the amount of hands that you are in when you are out of position your poker decision making will be a whole lot easier.
By starting to focus on your position and the position of your opponents you will also start to naturally develop the ability to be observant on a higher level. Poker is a game of information and the more observant you are means the more information that you have taken in. This means that in the long run you will win more money dependant on how observant you are. Come see how well you can play in position at Cake Poker…