Online Poker Position Explained
One of the most important factors in how you play a hand, or even if you play a hand at all, is in your position at the table. Although you do not physically get up and move around at the table, your position changes because of the movement of the Dealer button. While you stay in the exact same seat your position in the hand changes based upon your relation to the dealer button.
The button is moved around the table in a clockwise manner and the action always starts with the player to the left of the dealer button. An exception to this is in the game of stud where the position of the first bet is based upon the players “up” cards. If the game of online poker real money usa stud is played with a bring-in instead of blinds, then after the cards are dealt, the player with the lowest up card has to open the pot. If there are two players that are tied for the lowest up card then the player closest to the dealer button has to bring in or open the pot. In future betting rounds the betting action starts with the highest hand showing. In hold em, however, the betting rotation always follows the structure of the person to the left of the dealer button. In hold em games with blinds, which is almost always the case, the blind or blinds move around the table, with the dealer button, starting to the left of the dealer button.
Early And Late Position
It is a lot simpler to play in later position because you have a chance to see the actions of the other players before you have to act. In early position, unless you initiate the betting, you are letting another player at the table set the tone of the hand. Being in late position you have more opportunities to get free cards when everyone else checks to you or to bet or raise and take the pot down without a show down. If you are observant you will notice that a lot of players almost always raise in late position. And they do this more often they can possibly have a hand that warrants the raise. They are just paying their position. If you observe this you can use it against them by playing back at them, re-raising them. These players are usually the aggressive kind of players so be prepared for them to raise you back.
Betting out in early position can sometimes take the pot down early because it is an easier decision to bet than it is to call. There is however no question that there is a lot of value in having late position in a hand. Being the last to act you get to see what everyone else does before you have to decide on what you are going to do. In late position in a multi-player pot you might have a hand that you would want to bet out with but by the time the action gets to you, one player bet and another player raised and another player raised yet again. All of a sudden this hand that you would have bet with does not look so good anymore. Being in late position you probably just saved the bet you would have made that would not have stood up against a raise and a re-reaise.