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Position is the most overlooked tool in poker; it can be the difference between winning and losing tournaments. If you watch poker on TV you will see not only the commentators but the players themselves talking about position and its importance, as an example watch some of the first and second seasons of the World Poker Tour, The clear star of these first few seasons and he uses his position perfectly; if you ever watch a training video he spends a lot of time talking about position and how to play it.

Basically positions are defined as early, middle and late positions; this article will explain how to play hands in each position and what the best moves to make are, it will also explain some of the so called ‘poker jargon’ regarding positions.

Early position:Early position is when you are in the two immediate seats next to the blinds, the seat directly after the big blind is known as under the gun. In this position you want to only be raising with premium hands such as AK and avoid hands like rag aces; it is also advisable to avoid limping as it will cost you chips and post flop you will be first to act against a raiser.

Middle position:

This explains itself, the position in-between the blinds and the button, this is the most difficult position to be in. The best way to play in this position is to remain tight with your hand selection but it is generally okay to limp in with creative hands particularly if early positions have already limped; but remember not to make big raises with average hands or to call big raises unless you have a big hand because you have players after you to act and they will also act after you post flop.

Late position:

These positions are the cut-off, which is the final player before the button and obviously the button which needs no explanation (and if it does you need to be thinking about whether you know anything about poker). This area is where you want to be looking to make your raises and limps with all types of hands, vary your hand selection because you will be last to act post flop and you will have a lot of information upon which you can base your calls or raises.

Use your position to your advantage, particularly when the blinds get high later in tournaments make raises with hands like J 10 off suit, the advantage of a hand like this is should you get called you have outs (it’s what some of the professionals call a semi bluff) and if everyone folds you can pick up chips with no effort or decision making.

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