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Position is key in Texas Holdem

Someone once said that position is not the only thing in Texas is everything! I love that line but yet flouting position is perhaps one of the most widespread mistakes that players make. Look at it this way, if you constantly limped in games like No limit Texas Hold’em with weak hands then you are not much better off than if you had posted a blind. This is certainly the case when you are out of position. You could try using poker software like PokerTracker which will allow you to see your profitability on a seat by seat basis.

In a six handed game then the small blind, big blind and UTG positions will be by far your worst seats when it comes to making money and over large sample sizes then you will be a loser from these seats. The key is to minimise your losses from these seats as much as possible. You should make money from the hijack seat but you will make more money from the cut-off seat than the hijack. Likewise you will also make more money from the button than the cut-off.

The first fact about position is that when you come into the pot either by a limp or a raise then you are handicapped by more players yet to act after you. They could have weaker hands but yet these can often be offset by having position on your opponent. If your opponent bets into you then they are betting blind. They do not know what hand you hold or what you intend to do when they bet. You already have information from their bet and so you always have the advantage. But the earlier that you enter the hand then the more information that you dont have.

Let us look at no-limit Texas Holdem as an example, let us say that you have 4-4 and limp in early position in a full-ring game. Your limp has implied weakness and your opponents will know this. So when it is folded around to the cut-off and they raise with a weak hand like 8-7 then they are attacking your weakness rather than raising with the strength of their hand. If you call the raise and miss which you will do in seven hands out of eight on average then you are going to find it tough to continue. Your opponent can bet the flop and represent many hands and you will be forced to fold.

You gave away too much information to too many players who had position on you and one of them decided to attack your weakness. Although your hand had some set potential, good players will tend not to pay you off when you make your set or they will not stack off trying to multi barrel bluff you. Position is critical in all forms of holdem because you simply have more information to base your play on and you are not betting or playing a hand almost blind.

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