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One of the most important concepts in poker especially when playing Limit or No-Limit games is playing position. In some flop games like Omaha and Hold’em players’ position doesn’t change during all betting rounds and that’s why it is crucial to take it into account.
Sometimes you may happen to sit in early position at the table. Such a situation has evident disadvantages. As a result, you will be the one who has to act early in the hand. Thus, you will not have an opportunity to know the next course of the game, and the players acting in later position will be able to get much more information and plan their play accordingly. Acting early if you only want to see the pot raised and re-raised behind you will have to call a hand from time to time. Therefore, you might be made to fold a hand you have already deposited money in. Acting late allows you to know what pot odds you are getting on the hand and besides that you have the advantage of acting late in upcoming betting rounds. In a few words, late position is more favourable for playing many hands than if you are sitting in early position.
If you want to take a right decision concerning which hands you should play, you must always consider such a factor as your position. For instance, in Hold’em it is recommended to play very tight “under the gun” (first to act pre-flop). Then when your position gets better, you should add hands.
Late position is the best if you are looking for bluffing opportunities. Thus, if all your opponents check in front you have the choice of betting or seeing the next card for free. Semi-bluff can also be accomplished best by playing in late position. This means betting or raising with hands that may not necessarily be the best but have plenty of outs to improve to the best hand. You may raise with hands that you would never call with from an early position if all players have folded and you are sitting in late position. It will give you a possibility to win the blinds and antes uncontested.
Playing in a certain position you should take into consideration the character of the game you play. Because the influence of the position is not really that much important, for example, in a very loose game where there is not much pre-flop raising. This is due to the fact that you can now play drawing hands from an early position and remain relatively sure that you will get the necessary odds and the pot will not be increased. The opposite effect can be observed when playing a tight/aggressive game: even in early position you have to play very tight.
The quality of your opponents also matters, when we are talking about their and your locations at the table. The perfect scheme for you is when you have the loose/passive players to your right and the tight/aggressive players to your left. Such a position will provide you with many advantages as you will have a great opportunity to earn money on the mistakes of the loose players. Most probably they will call with too many hands and guarantee you better pot odds since you act behind them and have position on them. You may also make use of the tighter players sitting to your left, if you are able to steal their blinds and win more pots by betting into them with the help of bluffs.