Poker positions: types and their influence on the game

In poker, understanding the significance of poker table position is crucial for devising a winning strategy. The type of positions in poker you occupy—whether early, middle, or late—can profoundly influence your decisions and outcomes. This article explores the different types of poker positions, how to play from the blinds, strategies for playing from the blinds, playing post-flop from the blinds, the importance of position awareness when choosing a hand, what hands should be played, and what hands are better not to play. By mastering these concepts, you can significantly enhance your poker performance.Worst position in poker? What does under the gun mean poker? How to play poker well? We will try to answer these and other questions.

Types of poker positions

In a typical texas hold em hand strength game, there are three primary types of positions: early, middle, and late. Each has its own set of advantages and challenges.

Poker positions: types and their influence on the game 1

Early position, Middle position and Late position

Early Position

Early position refers to the seats immediately to the left of the big blind.


  • Ability to set the tone for the hand.
  • Potential to steal blinds with aggressive betting.


  • Limited information on opponents’ hands.
  • Higher risk of facing a raise.

Middle Position

Middle position players sit between the early and late positions. They have more information than early poker charts by position players but less than those in late positions.


  • Balanced mix of aggression and caution.
  • Opportunity to capitalize on early position players’ moves.


  • Still vulnerable to raises from late position players.
  • Requires careful hand selection and poker position strategy.

Late Position

Late position, including the cutoff (seat right before the dealer) and the button (dealer position), offers the most strategic advantage. Players in these seats act last, giving them maximum information about their opponents’ actions.


  • Ability to control the pot size.
  • Enhanced bluffing opportunities.
  • Flexibility in hand selection.


  • Need to maintain a balanced strategy to avoid predictability.
  • Requires disciplined play to capitalize on position.

How to play on the Blind and how to enter the game?

Playing from the blinds (small blind and big blind) presents unique challenges. These positions require forced bets before seeing any cards, which can lead to difficult decisions.Poker positions explained will help you play and win.

Entering the Game:

  • Small Blind (sb positions ): Half of the big blind is posted. The small blind acts first on all subsequent betting rounds except pre-flop.
  • Big Blind( bb positions): The full big blind is posted. The big blind acts last pre-flop but first on all subsequent betting rounds.
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Strategies for playing from the blinds

Players in the blinds must adopt specific strategies to mitigate their positional disadvantage:

  • Defend Your Blinds: Be prepared to defend your blinds against steals with a wider range of hands.
  • Aggressive Play: Use aggressive play to compensate for the lack of positional advantage.
  • Selective Hand Selection: Play strong hands more aggressively to put pressure on opponents.
  • Reading Opponents: Pay close attention to opponents’ tendencies and exploit their weaknesses.
  • Quote: “In the end, the key to poker is mastering the fundamentals that make a good player. Position is one of those fundamentals.” — Phil Hellmuth

Playing post-flop from the blinds

Post-flop play from the blinds requires a nuanced approach. You need to balance aggression with caution and leverage the information gained from the flop.

  • Evaluate the Flop: Assess how the flop interacts with your hand and potential opponent ranges.
  • Continuation Betting: Use continuation bets to maintain aggression, especially if you showed strength pre-flop.
  • Check-Raise: Consider check-raising with strong hands to extract maximum value.
  • Pot Control: Keep the pot manageable with medium-strength hands by checking and calling rather than betting.
  • Statistic: According to PokerTracker data, players win approximately 40% of pots when defending their big blind, highlighting the importance of effective post-flop strategies.

The importance of position awareness when choosing a hand

Poker position names awareness is critical when selecting which hands to play. The strength of your hand can vary significantly based on your position.

Early Position:

  • Play only premium hands (e.g., AA, KK, QQ, AKs).
  • Avoid speculative hands due to the high risk of raises.

Middle Position:

  • Expand your range slightly to include strong suited connectors (e.g., 9-10 suited) and medium pairs (e.g., 88, 99).
  • Maintain a cautious approach to avoid costly mistakes.

Late Position:

  • Play a wider range of hands, including weaker suited connectors and lower pairs.
  • Take advantage of your positional advantage to steal blinds and manipulate pot size.
Poker positions: types and their influence on the game 3

What Hands Should Be Played?

Understanding which hands to play based on your positions in poker  is crucial for a successful poker strategy.

  • List: Recommended Hands by Position
  • Early Position: AA, KK, QQ, AKs, AQs
  • Middle Position: AQo, AJs, KQs, 99, 88
  • Late Position: KQo, QJs, JTs, suited connectors (e.g., 78s), low pairs (e.g., 55, 44)

Quote: “The key to winning at poker is playing in position and making the most of it.” – Jonathan Little.

What hands are better not to play?

The Importance of Hand Selection

Hand selection is one of the most critical aspects of poker position strategy. Professional players often emphasize the importance of playing only strong hands to increase their chances of winning. Weak hands can lead to difficult post-flop decisions, unnecessary losses, and reduced overall profitability.How play poker well you’ll find out here.

Quote: “The most important decision you make in poker is deciding which hands to play and which hands to fold.” – Phil Ivey

Unsuited Low Cards

Unsuited low cards are some of the weakest hands you can be dealt in poker. These hands include combinations such as 7-2 offsuit, 8-3 offsuit, and 6-4 offsuit. They offer little potential for improvement and are easily dominated by higher-ranked hands.

Why They Are Problematic

  • Lack of Connectivity: Unsuited low cards rarely form straights.
  • No Flush Potential: Without being suited, there is no chance of making a flush.
  • Low Pair Value: Even if you pair one of your low cards, it is likely to be outkicked by opponents with higher pairs.
  • Statistic: According to PokerTracker data, unsuited low cards win less than 10% of the time in multi-way pots.

Weak Off-Suit Hands

Weak off-suit hands such as K-9 offsuit, Q-8 offsuit, and J-7 offsuit are also hands that should generally be avoided. These hands often look appealing due to the presence of a high card, but they tend to underperform in actual play.The names of poker hands will give you an understanding of what and how. 

Why They Are Problematic

  • Kicker Problems: High card hands with weak kickers are often outkicked.
  • Limited Straight and Flush Potential: Off-suit hands have lower chances of forming straights and no chance of forming flushes.
  • Trouble Hands: These hands can get you into trouble by making you think you have a strong hand when you don’t.

Quote: “A lot of players make the mistake of overvaluing hands like K-9 or Q-8. These hands can get you into a lot of trouble.” – Daniel Negreanu

Low Pairs

Low pairs, such as 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4, are generally weak starting hands. While they have some potential to improve, their overall value is limited.

Why They Are Problematic

  • Overcards on the Flop: Most flops will contain cards higher than your low pair, making it vulnerable.
  • Limited Post-Flop Playability: Low pairs are difficult to play effectively post-flop unless they hit a set.
  • Low Implied Odds: The potential payoff for hitting a set is often not worth the risk of playing low pairs.
  • Statistic: In a study by Advanced Poker Training, low pairs win only about 20% of the time when they do not improve on the flop.
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Summary of key points

In summary, understanding, and leveraging poker out of position is essential for developing a winning strategy. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Types of Positions: Early, middle, and late positions each have unique advantages and challenges.
  • Playing from the Blinds: Adopt specific strategies to defend your blinds and mitigate positional disadvantages.
  • Post-Flop Play: Use aggression, evaluate the flop, and employ tactics like check-raising to maximize value.
  • Position Awareness: Choose hands based on your position to optimize your chances of success.
  • Hand Selection: Play premium hands in early position, expand your range in middle position, and exploit your positional advantage in late position.
  • Avoid Weak Hands: Steer clear of marginal and speculative hands, especially in early position.

By mastering the intricacies of poker out of position and incorporating these strategies into your game, you can significantly improve your performance and increase your chances of winning. Remember, poker is not just about the cards you hold but how you play them based on your position at the poker table position.