Position is very essential when it comes to playing poker online or offline. Most tips available out there would also focus more on the position than the cards that you have been dealt with. Many would be confused as to what does this even mean.
Newcomers might have a totally different understanding of poker table positions, and that would sound strange to a player who has been playing for years.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of having a position, also discuss poker position names, general strategic considerations, and also the breakdown of starting hands for various seats.
When you finish reading this article, you will have a clear picture of why position is so critical and how it would influence your in-game decisions.
An Overview of Poker Table Positions and Names
In Poker, you will find that every seat at the table has a name. To study the game, you must know what these names refer to.
There are 4 main groups of poker positions:
- Early position (UTG)
- Middle position (MP)
- Late position (Hijack, Cutoff, Button)
In early position, there are players who are first to act before the flop, players acting after them are in the middle seats, players after them are ones in the late position.
In the end, there are mostly two players sitting in the blinds, provided we are talking about the full table.
Poker Position Names
Every position is assigned a particular name in a standard 6 or 9-handed game. Many times the moves will be called out by the position names, and if you are unaware of them, it might sound confusing.
For 6-max, you have following positions:
- Under the Gun (UTG): A player who is seated to the immediate left of the big blind and the one who is first to act before flop.
- Hijack (HJ): This player sits to the left of UTG and is also sometimes called MP (middle position).
- Cutoff (CO): This player is to the right of the Button and to the left of Hijack.
- Button (BTN): This player is to the left of the Small Blind and to the right of Cutoff.
- Small Blind (SB): This player sits to the left of Button and is one who posts the small blind before the flop.
- Big Blind (BB): This player is the last to act preflop and sits to the left of the small blind.
There are more positions for the full ring (9 players):
- Under the Gun (UTG)
- Middle Position 1 (MP1), also called as LoJack (LJ)
- Middle Position 2 (MP2), also called as Hijack (HJ)
- Middle Position 3 (MP3), also called as Cutoff (CO)
- Button (BTN)
- Small Blind (SB)
- Big Blind (BB)
Effective Strategies for Different Poker Positions in 6-Max
Different Poker positions come with different sets of challenges, and you must align your strategies accordingly. Following are various positions in a 6-Max Poker game and ways in which you can play based on the position.
Under the Gun Poker Position (UTG)
In this position, you would want to be a bit conservative, as there are 5 players behind you who could wake up with a big hand.
Hijack Poker Position (HJ)
The middle position player in a 6-Max poker game is called Hijack or UTG+1. Hijack is clearly at a better position than UTG, as there are only 4 players remaining to act instead of 5. This simply means that you can start adding hands and adjust your opening range. It is recommended that this player leans more towards folding with an occasional raise.
Cutoff Poker Position
If you are in this position, you should definitely take advantage, as this opportunity does not come often. You will have a range of hands that you could open with. The cutoff is one of the best positions in poker, button being at the top. When you become an experienced poker player, you can include non-GTO hands against inexperienced and weaker opponents.
Button Poker Position
The Poker Button position is the most valuable position at the poker table. What makes this position so powerful is that the player at Button always has the last say on the flop, turn, and river. Even if the steal of Button fails, this player has a massive advantage of being the last one to act on every street. In this position, even if you miss the flop completely, you will win pots with a simple continuation bet.
Small Blind Poker Position
This position is considered as one of the most difficult poker positions. There are many dynamics involved when it comes to the Small Blind Poker position.
Big Blind Poker Position
The Big Blind Poker position is the only position that does not get to act before the flop. There are very few scenarios where you can win the pot; for example, when everybody else folds or an appropriate response to a raise.
Top Strategies for Different Poker Positions in Full Ring Table (9 Players)
The strategy in 6-max and full ring is different, especially when it comes to selecting hands to play. From early positions, you will want to play much tighter.
It is advised that you open with only about 10% of your hands when you are the first one to act. There are many players to act after you, so you must stick to good poker hands.
At UTG+1, you are pretty much at the starting position and that is why nothing much changes as compared to UTG.
You would still want to play very tight. At UTG+2, you must be very careful about the lower part of your range, especially with a 3-bet. In between, you might consider 4-betting for bluffing, however, calling and playing such hands out of position might not be a good idea.
Middle Position 1 (MP1, Lojack)
Once you are out of the early positions, you can start to open with more hands.
Middle Position 2 (MP2, Hijack)
When you are in this position, you should be ideally opening with 20% of your entire openings. Here you can stay aggressive in terms of making hands even with a decent draw, enhancing your chances of winning a pot that way.
At this position, which is one of the two genuine late positions, you can start expanding your opening position. The button remains the only player that can have a position on you. Small and big blinds will be out of position post-flop, which means that you will have great control in a pot. The recommended cutoff range is 26%, but in most cases, you can go for a wider opening.
If you are in this position, you do not have to worry about anyone having a position over you. You are in the driver’s seat, so you can open more hands. It is recommended that you open with 40% of your entire range.
You can open with almost 50% of your entire range. When you are in this position, you will be up against a random hand, and you need to make sure that you don’t give free equity to big blind by folding too much.
Sometimes, you can defend with smaller pairs and stronger suited connectors. This is suggested only when you are deep enough in the game and expect the opponent to overplay their big pocket pair.
- Learning about poker positions is a key part of successful poker strategies
- From the early spots on the table, do not play too many hands
- Remember positions and hands to open from every position at the table
- Make sure that you adjust opening ranges depending on your competition
- When playing against recreational players or weak opponents sitting in the big blind, you can raise more
- Where can I get good reviews on casino games?
You can get valuable reviews on casino games on casino games online review platform.
- Do Poker positions play a crucial role in deciding the winner?
Yes, Poker positions play a crucial role in deciding the winner.
- How can I enhance my Poker skills?
You can enhance your poker skills by playing practice games. Practice and free games are available on many online poker platforms.