Importance of seat position in Texas Hold’em

Seat position in Texas Hold’em should have a huge bearing on your poker strategy. For instance you might fold a hand when you’re sitting under the gun, but might play it if you’re on the button and the bet isn’t too high.

Generally speaking, the best hands at the start of a game will be the best cards at the end of the game and as such, this impacts greatly on strategy. Put simply – you wish to play only good starting cards as by doing so you give yourself a better chance of winning.

The best hands invariably involve the big cards. This means big pairs like Tens and upwards or AK or AQ (Ace King or Ace Queen). Unfortunately these hands are dealt to you all too infrequently so there are actually other hands that you can play but only if suitable conditions arise.

GUIDE: Texas Hold’em Strategy
Poker guide: Rules, history and more

Learning to use seat position strategy in Hold’em

Due to the nature of Texas Hold’em, one very significant aspect is your table position relative to your rivals. It is a definite advantage to be able to act after your opponents as by doing so on each betting round you get to see the strength of their hands through their betting actions before deciding whether or not to proceed with your own hand.

If you have to act first you are at a big disadvantage. To compensate for this you need to have stronger hands when acting first. Likewise when acting later than opponents you can play with relatively weaker hands as you will get to see their actions first, but you should not take this too far as it does not mean that you can play anything just because you have position on an opponent.

To define your position you are said to be in an early position at the table if you are in the first three seats immediately to the left of the blinds. You are in mid position if you are in the next three seats and in late position if you are on the dealer button or immediately to the right of the dealer button. There are also the blind positions which are always first to act on any betting round (except before the flop) and as such always have a disadvantage.

It is true that any two cards can win but this has little to do with the rank of cards that you play but more to do with the betting associated with your cards and this shall be covered later.

For now, suffice to say that when you are in an early seat at a Texas Hold’em table and you’re going to have others acting behind you on a betting round, you need a much stronger hand than if you have them acting before you.