Question re: Position Basics

S

Stargazer

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Jun 11, 2007
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New Player, First Post, Still Learning

I've been reading up on hold'em, and I think I have a basic understanding of the importance of position before the flop. The books I've read, though, make recommendations for pre-flop starting hands that seem to be absurdly intricate, depending upon position, how aggressive the table is, what has happened before you bet, etc.

My impression, though, is that all of this just boils down to a simple consideration: If you are playing a drawing hand, then you want a lot of people in the pot and to get in cheaply yourself. If you have a high pair/high card hand, then you don't want many people in the pot, but you don't mind multiple bets from those who are in. All of the rest about position, previous bets, aggressiveness of the table, etc., are just factors that you consider in trying to predict how many people will stay in the pot.

But maybe this is wrong. Nobody ever seems to put it in such simple terms, so maybe I'm missing something.
 
tosborn

tosborn

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Feb 26, 2007
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Position only factors into postflop betting. The reason that you can play more hands when you will be last to act postflop.

Think about it this way:

If no one bets in front you and you throw out a bet and everyone folds you win money. (You win money)

If someone bets in front of you and you fold because you didn't flop a hand. (you lose less money than you might have acting first)

If you flop a good hand and someone bets in front of you, you can reraise sweetening the pot. (you make more money with your good hands)

As you can see acting last affects the amount of money that you win and lose, thus making it more important.

Also, your analysis of reasons for betting high pairs and calling drawing hands is perfect.
 
Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels

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Mar 26, 2005
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Position only factors into postflop betting.
This isn't true. Position is very important PF as well. If you're at a ten person table and open from UTG, you have nine people to act behind you yet. In theory you could be OOP to up to seven of those players which is why you need to have a stronger hand to open from UTG (for ABC poker). And being on the button means you can open raise or limp with lesser hands because on the flop you'll have position on anyone still in the hand and can see what they do before you act. So I'd say table position is extremely important because it defines the layout of the table for the rest of the hand.
 
G

ginNjuice

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Feb 28, 2007
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Position is great a great thing in poker to exploit. If you have a tight image and a good feel of a table one move I really like making is stealing small pots from the blinds on the turn.

Lets say there is a small raise with about 3 callers, you being one of the from the small or big blind. If the flop gets checked around and I'm fairly confident the turn brings a blank and nobody has improved to a point of wanting to continue with the hand, you can lead out and bet to steal the pot. If you make this same play with your made hands and draws it keep you unpredictable. Also, most people, I find, would not make that bet without a made hand and it gets read as a missed attempt at a check raise on the flop.

The point I'm trying to make is don't always think of being first to act as a disadvantage, but try to think of ways that position can be exploited from all spots on the table.
 
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