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Table Position when playing Online Poker

Earlier I  wrote an article on Table Selection, where I spoke about how to select the best table when playing poker online. Here I am going to talk about Table Position, how to select the best Table when playing Poker.

You might not realise at first, but your position at the table is a massive factor which will determine which hands are profitable to play and how much money you’ll make in extended periods of time.

Understanding the different table positions and how they affect your game is important for all forms of poker including MTTs, Cash Games, Heads Up and SNGs. Cards should always be dealt from the dealer in a clockwise direction. The game starts with the SB first to act, and this carries on to the BB and the next player and so on.

Positions at the Table

The players sitting at the table can be grouped together according to their positions.

  • The players nearest to the left of the button are called early position or EP for short.
  • The next group of players are called middle position or MP.
  • The last 3 players will be called late position or LP.
  1. Early Position (SB + BB + EP)
    Early position players including the SB and BB are most disadvantaged because they have to act first in each stage of the hand (flop, turn, river etc). They have the least information on the other players at the table which forces them to throw away non-premium hands. Playing tight and throwing away “limpy” hands is necessary because of the probability of being re-raised by those left to act. You should limit yourself to playing your top 10% – 15% of hands in EP.
  2. Middle Position (MP + MP1 +MP2)
    A mash between early position and late position. You can play more hands and steal more than early position players, but less than late position.
  3. Late Position (LP + LP1 + Cut Off)
    The best seat in the house! Late position players can play a wide range of hands, limp into un-raised boards and bluff or continuation when everyone’s shown weakness. Late position players including the button and the cut-off (2nd to last person to act after dealer) have the most information at the table are always last to act. Limp into pots with up to 50% of your hands including weak connectors from LP: e.g. 4d-5h. The downside to bluffing is that you’ll get less credit and fold equity from others because of a perceived weaker hand range.
  4. Relative Position
    You can tailor your game to take advantage of others players you have position on. In heads up the button is the perfect vantage point to bluff and hit back his opponents each stage of the hand. It’s genuinely that advantageous, and players should take advantage by raising 80%+ of hands pre-flop.

Against fish you should sit as near to the left of them as possible. This allows you to isolate him in hands, set traps and bluff pots for maximum value.