No Mercy Monday: Taking Advantage of Your Position
In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands and position.
Knowing how to play your starting hands is an essential part of basic No Limit Hold’em Poker strategy, and is something we’ve been covering over the past few weeks. We are now looking at the second most important concept in poker: position.
After going over the basics last Monday, and we will now explain how to take advantage of a good position.
You should consider not only what starting hand you are holding, but you should also put it in perspective with the position that you are acting from.”
How to Take Advantage of Your Position
As seen over the last two tips of this chapter, you should consider not only what starting hand you are holding, but you should also put it in perspective with the position that you are acting from.
Indeed, the earlier you are, the fewer hands you will play. That is explained by the fact that you will have to act before all the other opponents; you are therefore “in the dark” and you have no clue about what they will do after you.
When you are under-the-gun and decide to raise with A-5 suited, you might get re-raised and even face a 3-bet from players acting after you. In such case, chances are that you will be forced to fold your small suited Ace.
On the other hand, when you are last to act, you have a lot of information from the previous players, and you might even decide to re-raise yourself with such a hand.
Moreover, when you are sitting on the button and no one has entered the pot yet, it will be much easier to win the blinds with this type of hand without having such surprises.
5 Advantages to Acting Last in Poker
Overall, these are the five major advantages of acting last which can lead to gigantic gains over your poker lifetime:
- You have valuable information on the actions from all the players in front of you
- You can choose to call, raise, re-raise or even check to get a free card after the flop or the turn
- You have more bluffing opportunities when everyone checked before you
- You are in control of the size of the pot and can make more accurate bets than if you were acting first
- You can steal the blinds effectively since you are less likely to go to showdown with only 2 players remaining
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– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
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