Play in Position - How Not to Suck at Poker Ep. 2

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Published on 15 April 2014 by Pokerlistings 8452

Sucking at poker sucks. That's why PokerListings.com is here to give you a crash course in exactly how not to suck. Lesson 2 is an important one: Play in position! Poker is a game of incomplete information so whenever you can learn something before your opponents it’s always going to pay off. That’s why one of the easiest ways not to suck at poker is to spend most of your time playing in position. Position refers to where you’re sitting at the poker table relative to the dealer button, and it determines who acts first on every round of betting. If you simply folded everything except premium hands unless you’re in late position, you’ d be well on your way to being a winning poker player.

Poker is a game of incomplete information so whenever you can find something out before your opponents, it's always going to pay off. That's why the easiest way to not suck at poker is to spend most of your time playing in position. Position refers to where you're sitting at the table relative to the dealer button, and it determines who acts first on every round of betting. If you simply folded everything except premium hands when you're not in late position, you'd be well on your way to becoming a winning poker player. When you're playing in position, your opponents are forced to give away information about their hands that you can use to make better decisions. And when you're in position, you get the final say on every round of betting. So if your opponent shows weakness and checks to you, you can bet and take down the pot even when you don't have a hand. And if you do have a monster hand and your opponent bets, you have the option of raising, meaning you can get even more value. Playing in position gives you four main advantages. Number one: more information. Information is the most valuable commodity in poker and when you're in position, your opponents are forced to give away information about their hand that you can use to make better decisions. Number two: bluffing opportunities. So often in Hold 'em, your opponents will completely miss the flop. When you're in position, you can just bet after they check and take down the pot whether you have a hand or not. Number three: more chances to extract value. When you're playing in position, you'll be able to extract way more value from your big hands. If your opponents bet, you'll have the option of raising. And you can also really dial in the size of your value bets based on what your opponent's actions are telling you about his hand. Number four: pot control. When you're playing in position, you'll have way more control over the size of the final pot. That means you can bet and raise when you have a monster hand or just call when you have a medium hand that you think might be good. As a beginner it's really important to keep things as simple as possible. So do yourself a favor and stick to playing in position unless you've got a seriously premium hand.