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Position as Valuable Poker Strategy

Many poker strategy articles have already been written on different topics. In this particular article, we would like to discuss the importance of a poker player's position at the table. Although it may appear meaningless to a poker novice, after all position does not change the strength of your pocket, position sometimes has a heavy impact on the outcome of the game. Understanding the value of a player's position at the poker table is key to success.

Although the term 'position' normally refers to a player's position in relation to other players, it is more often used to determine position relative to the dealer button. Players seated at a poker table fall into three categories of positions: Early Position, Middle Position and Left Position. A player's winning poker strategy should always take into account his position at the table.

Early Position:

The three first players seated to the immediate left of the dealer are said to be in 'early position,' the least advantageous position at the table. This is because early position players are required to act before any other players do. They do not have the luxury of planning their betting action based on how other players are playing their hands. Taking this into consideration, early position players should normally avoid staying in the game marginal hands. High quality hands are the only ones worth a try when seated in early position.

The hands you can afford to stay in the game while in early position:

High pairs: Ace-Ace, King-King, Queen-Queen, Jack-Jack
High suited cards: Ace-King, Ace-Queen, King-Queen, Ace-Jack, King-Jack, Queen-Jack, Jack-10
High unsuited cards: Ace-King, Ace-Queen, King-Queen

Middle Position:

The guys seated in 'middle position' have an obvious strategic advantage over early position players. They have the privilege of seeing some of their opponents' actions which means that they can build their winning strategy accordingly. Although middle position players' idea regrading what to expect is still rather vague, they certainly can rely on some extra information to develop their poker strategy. Simply put, this position is more profitable than the previous one because the chances of being raised are tremendously lower.

The hands you can afford to stand in the game while in middle position:

High suited cards: Ace-10, King-10, Queen-10
High unsuited cards: Ace-Jack, Ace-10, King-Jack
Middle pairs: 10-10, 9-9, 8-8

Late Position:

Finally, the three players seated to the immediate right of the dealer are called 'late position.' These players are by far in the greatest position of all. They are granted the privilege of seeing all their opponents make their bets, before they are required to make their moves. Based on this precious information, they can act with confidence and eventually win the games they play. Already knowing what to expect, they can afford to stay in the game with a much larger range of hands. Unlike players in previous positions, their poker strategy is based on information as solid as it can only be in poker.

The hands you can afford to stand in the game while in late position:

Suited connectors, such as 9-10, 7-8
Small pairs, such as 2s, 3s, 4s
Ace-littles: A-8, A-6

A smart player will always consider position before joining a table. This is the basics of a winning poker strategy!
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