Struggling to understand position

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Murph1969

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The tutorials make it sound like you should only play a hand from the button. That’s one out of every nine hands in full ring. Let’s say you open with a 20 percent range. That means you would play 2.2 percent of hands. Seriously? When are you truly, “in position”?
 
Nafor

Nafor

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Like in everything - it all depends...

From early position (UTG) you should be tight with your range since you don't know what others will do. Then again on late position you can be wider than 20%, if the table has been really passive.

Many tutorials offer simply just a guideline to know where to start from. Other tutorials also teach when to deviate from that plan.

How did you come up with the 2.2 percent?
 
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Murph1969

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Like in everything - it all depends...

From early position (UTG) you should be tight with your range since you don't know what others will do. Then again on late position you can be wider than 20%, if the table has been really passive.

Many tutorials offer simply just a guideline to know where to start from. Other tutorials also teach when to deviate from that plan.

How did you come up with the 2.2 percent?

20 percent of 11 percent
 
Nafor

Nafor

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20 percent of 11 percent
Thanks!

If you would play only from the button position then that would be true. It is also true that many tutorials emphasize the importance of the button position, but it is certainly not the only position from where one should play, if everything else looks suitable.
 
eberetta1

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If you play from the button, there are only 2 players who can beat you, so you should win 33 percent of the time.

If you play from First position at a 9 person table, you can realistically expect to win 1 of every 9 times you go in.

So I would rather go in when I have a 33 pct chance of winning vs. going in when I have an 11 pct chance of winning.

Every hand you go in is a risk, unless on the river you had the nuts. Seldom does this happen in poker and by then someone has raised so much, we usually would have already folded what would have been the nuts. Continued good luck in your poker journey. May you always place 2nd, because I would love to win 1st.
 
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Hermus

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The overall goal of playing poker (or at least your measure of success in the game) is to make money. Because the game has mandatory bets (the blinds) each player has an incentive to enter the pot. With random cards for each player, the probability of any player having good cards increases.

Secondly, the closer you are to the button, it gets increasingly more likely that you will play in position against any caller or 3-bet.
These two fundamental principles are the reason your open ranges should gradually widen with less players to act. However, it's a mistake to think you can only play hands from the button. Coming back to the fundamental goal of the game, making money. If you have a +EV open raise from any position, it's a mistake to fold since that lowers your winrate over time.

Now if you don't know which holdings are good enough to open raise with it's a good idea to study open range charts from all positions. Open ranges for both 9max, 6max or heads-up are pretty much solved and you shouldn't have a hard time finding a decent source.
 
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Roger1960

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The tutorials make it sound like you should only play a hand from the button. That’s one out of every nine hands in full ring. Let’s say you open with a 20 percent range. That means you would play 2.2 percent of hands. Seriously? When are you truly, “in position”?

That was the hardest thing to figure out for me.
After a long time asking and trying to figure it out, I think I finally get it.

If you are on the button, and all others before you fold...you only have two other people to play. So you have a better chance of winning because you already know all others folded. In this case you have a much wider choice of starting hands, good idea to always bet 3X the BB. If you are called, you have "position" meaning you are last to act, they have to bet first then you can figure out if it is worth calling or raising.

Being "out of position" say first to act..you should have AA, KK AK suited to play in this position, just an example...There will be all other players acting after you. You should have a better or best starting hand from this position.
Rules are always meant to be tweaked after you can evaluate how the other players are playing on your table....
 
perrywh

perrywh

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After getting to know your players at the table you should know what hands you can play at each position! Every table is different!
 
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ROYALROAD

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Even if you're at the button, you have to think about how many players there are before you.

There are other conditions that must be considered.
 
Zapahlohotrona

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The problem with playing poorly on the button is, as with most things, any other problem in poker, it’s not playing right post-flop. If you take a very good player, he can 100% open on the button at micro-limits and he will play profitably. Why? Because he will make the right decisions post-flop. Poker is not an easy game and requires deep analysis.
 
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Stickyfish

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The tutorials make it sound like you should only play a hand from the button. That’s one out of every nine hands in full ring. Let’s say you open with a 20 percent range. That means you would play 2.2 percent of hands. Seriously? When are you truly, “in position”?
There are ranges to play from every position, if your dealt cards fall in that range in that particular position you play that hand, it is as simple as that.
I think you are only looking at Opening ranges or as it is called RFI ranges.
You have to look at defending ranges, 3 betting ranges, 4 bettings.....
If you do all this correctly your VPIP will usually be around 20%.
I hope this helps.
Any more questions, please feel free to ask. I was also pretty much lost around Position and ranges when I first started playing poker.
 
black and

black and

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Of course, your position at the table should always be taken into account, but nevertheless, if you play with junk, it will definitely lead to losses. Position is important, but position is not more important than your pocket cards.
 
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easy play

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Didn' follow your post completely. There are many free RFI charts available for different positions. That should help.
 
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Recreationalplayer

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There are many poker websites offering RFI charts for all position. As a general rule, the ranges get wider in late position.
 
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DS3

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After getting to know your players at the table you should know what hands you can play at each position! Every table is different!

Agreed. One problem with poker coaching or instruction is the stock answer.

'Under the gun' for example can be an incredibly effective position in the right circumstance. If the table recognizes you as a tight player, then making an occasional big raise from UTG will likely be followed with the entire table folding unless you run into a monster. Then at least you will be isolated with a good hand yourself.

I am always aware of position but seldom make decisions based on the button position alone
 
NWPatriot

NWPatriot

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The tutorials make it sound like you should only play a hand from the button. That’s one out of every nine hands in full ring. Let’s say you open with a 20 percent range. That means you would play 2.2 percent of hands. Seriously? When are you truly, “in position”?

Using the same math from your example, you can also come to another conclusion. In a full ring of 10 players, there will probabilistically be only 2 players that receive a top 20% hand pre-flop (1/5 chance with 10 players is 2/10 chance) in any hand - sometimes more, sometimes less. These are playable hands and we need to consider more than position before we throw them in the muck.

There are 3 benefits to in-position play:
  1. We have the most information pre-flop - we know how much interest there is in this hand, where UTG has none of this information. UTG should be more cautious.
  2. Our pre-flop fold equity (chances of getting "everyone" left to act to fold) is best, except for the SB. With higher fold equity, we need less showdown equity (wider hands) to ultimately have the same total chance of winning the hand.
  3. We will be in position post-flop, as the pot grows larger and larger. Our post flop advantage is still related to information, though today's game has plenty of OOP deception which makes our information a bit unreliable. But still, the post-flop IP player will always have a betting advantage and they are the player that gets to decide what it costs to see another card. The OOP player can make a bet, but the IP player has the final say, which can be worth additional bets or pot control. This has a lot of value.
Good luck and God bless.
 
Plut41

Plut41

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Same here :( still don't get it. But I am guessing that's because I play frerolls/micro and people don't really care about the betsize. I bet like third of my stack with aces and 5 guys call, all in post flop and 2 guys call. Then they check check all the way having invested 80% of their stacks :D that's halirious, but still good chances to triple up.
 
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steve01991

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position helps no doubt, but i like playing my hand , position is just another factor you have to consider.
 
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