Button, Cutoff and Co: The positions at the poker table

A very important strategic concept in poker, especially Texas No Limit Hold’em, is the position at the poker table. The position is important for the playing and setting behavior at the table. For example, as you raise top pairs like A-A, K-K or Q-Q preflop from any position, playing low pair games will be a bit more difficult. Here it is extremely important, on which position at the table one is and whether the opponents before one possibly already carried out actions.

We look at the subject of positions in detail. What exactly is a position? Which positions are there? What are absolute and relative positions? How do I play from the respective positions? And what do you even bring me?

What is a position? What positions are there at the poker table?

The position indicates when a player is at the poker table during a betting round. This depends on who is in the respective round of the dealer, so where the button is. The button changes after each hand clockwise. The more opponents act in front of you, the more information you have. Standing at the table tells you when to make a decision.

From this follows already a first motto: The earlier you turn, the better a hand must be. Any additional player sitting behind one makes it more likely that one of the opponents is holding a strong hand.

At a poker table with ten players, there are ten different positions. These can be divided into four groups. So a player can sit in early, middle or late position or in the blinds. The position depending on the button is called absolute position. Here are all absolute positions:

Late Positions: Cutoff (CO) and Button (BU)
The dealer, or the player with the button, and the counterparty who sits to the right of this are called late positions. The dealer is called Button and the player to the right, who is in front of him, cutoff.

Middle positions 1, 2 and 3: MP1, MP2, MP3
The three squares to the right of Button and Cutoff occupy the middle positions and are called Middle Position 1 (MP1), Middle Position 2 (MP2) and Middle Position 3 (MP3).

Early positions 1, 2 and 3: UTG1, UTG2, UTG3
The players sitting in front of the opponents in middle position and immediately after the blinds are on the train, are in early position. These three positions are called Under the Gun (UTG) 1, 2 and 3.

Blind Positions: Small Blind (SB) and Big Blind (BB)
The two players with the compulsory missions, which are directly to the left of the button, are called blinds. The person to the left of the dealer must pay the smaller compulsory stake and is referred to as the small blind. The other player who has to bring the higher bet is called Big Blind.

If fewer players are sitting at the poker table, the early and then the middle and late positions are eliminated.

The relative positions

Guaranteed money printing with position Poker Basically, the relative position is even more relevant than the absolute position. It describes your position based on the other active players that are still in the game. There are three relative positions that you can be in: Position (IP), Out of Position (OOP), and Sandwich.

If you only have one opponent on the flop, you have two options: you play in position when it is your turn to act against your opponent and, as a result, you can react to their actions. You are out of position when it is your first turn and the opponent can react to your actions.

Your position is determined by the placement order from the flop. If you have more than one opponent on the flop, this is called a multiway pot. If you are between two players in turn, you are in the so-called sandwich position.

“In position” vs. “out of position”

The preferred goal of any player should be to play as many hands as possible when in position so he can play many more hands. In position he has an information advantage at all stages of the game round and can always make his decision dependent on the actions of the opponents.

The button is the best place at the poker table. Here you always have position and in any case last decide what you want to do. The closer you are to the button, the more hands you can play. The place with the most unfavorable position at the poker table is the small blind. Before the flop the player with the small blind is the second to last, but after the flop he always has to make his decision first.

If many opponents sit behind their own position, you run the risk of being out of position after the flop is issued. The cutoff, the last player in front of the place with the dealer button, also has a very good seat at the table, because only the button has postflop the opportunity to act after this. As a rule of thumb, any position closer to the button increases the likelihood that you will have to play out of position after the flop.

Who is in position after the flop, has a big information advantage. The opponents have to act before and so you can use the checks or bets to gather very helpful information. On the other hand, the opponents do not know whether you are about to check or bet. So you have full control over the opponent and can, for example, only check to see a free card or to lure the opponents on a wrong track.

At the same time, sitting at the table is important when it comes to selecting the starting hands, so there are two factors that should influence the selection of a starting hand:

  • What is the chance that a player in a later position has a strong hand?
  • What is the chance that you will be in position even after the flop?

A crucial exception is the small blind, because this acts before the flop as penultimate. The chance of a player holding a strong hand behind the SB is therefore extremely low. Nevertheless, the small blind after the flop is always OOP. So, as a small blind, you can play more and also riskier starting hands than in an early position, and yet far fewer hands than the player with the button.

Position on fish and weak players

Ideally, you only play against weak players who are out of position. The closer you are to these players to the left, the more often you have a good position after the flop on them. The closer you are to the right of these players, the more often you have to play OOP. So you should try to be as close to the left side of a fish as possible and as close as possible to it. In the best case you sit directly on his left.

What’s the position in No Limit Hold’em?

  1. We will win heads-up the pot more often than the opponent if we both missed the flop completely.
  2. Stealing is easier both preflop and post-flop, because we can wait for every decision of our opponent and evaluate our action better depending on the situation.
  3. The most important decision in No Limit Hold’em takes place on the river, where the biggest bets are placed in the pot. A correct decision is much easier on the river in position than out of position, since opponents very rarely start a check raise on the river. Either he checks and we can be pretty sure to be ahead with a good hand. Or we can quietly check our marginal hands with showdown value.
  4. We can control the size of the pot in position much better with check-behinds on the turn etc. than out of position. Especially here is a lot of hidden money. A good player loses less in situations where he is still behind with a good hand, and in turn maximizes profit in those situations where he is the favorite. Both can be done with the position advantage easier.
  5. Draws are easier to play in position as we can either bet aggressively or take a free pass when the opponent checks.

Author: Casino Rulz