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The Value of Position in Texas Holdem

Anyone who is seriously interested in making money at Texas Holdem and becoming a skilled player must comprehend the value of position play and how it can affect your plans. If this is something that is often repeated in tutorials and guides, it is because their importance cannot be stressed enough.

Early position in Texas Holdem refers to those on the left of the dealer. The first three players to act are often said to be under the gun, for a number of legitimate reasons; Poker being a game of information, being the first to make a bet means you will not be in the position to assess what those ahead of you may be planning, based on their holdings. Also, being the first to play means everyone will have an idea of where you stand.

For this reason, the Texas Holdem strategy for playing the early position is to be tight. Stay with only pocket Aces down to Jacks. In some tables you can add Aces paired with face cards, and even King/Queen, although some will say that these hands are better off played in middle position. Whatever may be the case, you should muck all other hands except those mentioned.

Those in middle position in Texas Holdem are those three immediately after the first ones to act. Because you have the chance to see how the early ones acted, you have the option of adding more hands. These will vary with every table that you are in of course, but in general, these can include ATs and Kings paired with Queens or Jacks.

The best position to be in is the dealer button, because you are the last to act. The reason for this is that with everyone having gone before you, your Texas Holdem strategy will be more flexible, having gotten an idea of where everyone else is in relation to one another.

What does this imply? Simply that, if you sense that the other players have weak hands, by virtue of folding or checking, then you can play with more hands. For instance, a pair of tens is something that you would not risk playing when you are under the gun, but if no one makes a raise, then chances are slim that someone has a big hand.

The bottom line is that Texas Holdem positions are so influential to the outcome of the game that they can change the value of the hand that you are holding. What seem like weak hands in early or middle position can become winning hands when you are on the button. Similarly, some playable hands in late position should be mucked if you are first to act.

The importance of position in Texas Holdem is indispensable. Even if you only decide to play at low stakes, Limit Holdem or No Limit, position play is absolutely vital. Learn how to use them, and you will make a lot of money in the process.