Understanding Poker Positions: Improve Your Game at the Table

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Written by: Matt E.

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In poker, position is extremely important. You may have come to this post to find out what the different poker positions are called or what they look like, and I’ll answer that right now, but please consider reading further to quickly get some info about how you can use position in poker to your advantage immediately. 

Usually, you are either playing a 9-max table with a maximum of 9 players or a 6-max table with 6 players max. 

9-Max Poker Positions Names

  • Under the gun (Early)
  • Under the gun + 1 (Early)
  • Under the gun + 2 (Early)
  • Lowjack (Middle)
  • Hijack (Middle)
  • Cutoff (Late)
  • Button (Late)
  • Small blind (Blinds)
  • Big blind (Blinds)

Understand Each Position in Poker

The position you occupy in a poker game significantly impacts your chances of winning the hand. There are stats proving that more money is made in button position and positions closest to the button like the Cutoff and Hijack than any other position at the table in poker. So it’s important to maximize your play in these areas. 

Under The Gun (UTG)

The Under The Gun (UTG) is considered the worst position to be in, as the player in this position has the least information about their opponents and must rely solely on the strength of their cards. As a result, the UTG has the tightest range of all players at the table.

Under The Gun + 1 (UTG+1)

The UTG+1 is not much better, as players in this position still have seven opponents waiting for their action, and can only add a few extra hands to their opening range.

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Under The Gun + 2 (UTG+2)

Players in the UTG+2, along with the two previous seats, are in the early positions and face the most challenging decisions before the flop. They have the least information about their opponents and should limit their range to around 15% of hands.

Lowjack

The Lowjack position in a 9-max table is equivalent to the UTG position in a 6-handed game. Players in this position also have a tight range of hands due to the number of opponents left to act behind them.

Hijack

The Hijack position is slightly better as players get to see what early position players do before making decisions. They also have fewer opponents sitting after them, allowing them to add more off-suit hands to their opening range.

Cutoff (CO)

The Cutoff position is a great position for stealing blinds aggressively since there is only one player left in position after you. Managing to make the Button fold gives players the advantage of being in position against the blinds throughout the hand and being able to control the action.

Button (BTN)

The Button is considered the best position at the poker table. Players in this position have the advantage of seeing what the first three positions will do and can adjust their play accordingly. They also have the privilege of being the last player to act on each street after the flop, allowing them to have the widest range of all players at the table.

Small Blind (SB)

The Small Blind position may have the privilege of seeing what others do before them, but they are the first player to act on each street after the flop and not even close the action, with the Big Blind left to act. Therefore, their range is much narrower than the Button's, and they are at a significant disadvantage since they are forced to put money into the pot before seeing their cards.

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Big Blind (BB)

The Big Blind position is considered the worst at the table since players have to put the whole big blind before seeing their cards and are the second player to act on each street after the flop. While players will need to play a wide range and defend a lot, they will not be able to make up for the significant disadvantage of putting the whole big blind before seeing their cards.

Written by

Matt E.

I've been immersed in the world of poker since 2003. Poker is hard. It has undoubtedly been a roller coaster of experiences for me over the years. My poker journey spans from playing at .01/.02 NL tables to engaging in intense sessions at $5/$10. Poker isn't just a game to me—it's a passion. Outmaneuvering opponents in this test of mental strength and strategy offers an unparalleled thrill. To deepen my understanding of the game and to assist others, I initiated this blog. It aims to elucidate the ever-evolving technologies, strategies, and legal landscapes of poker, especially in the online realm. We're now in the age of solvers, but both online and live poker continue to thrive. A quick visit to a local $1/3 game would be ample evidence of its vitality. Regardless of your proficiency level, from novice to expert, I hope my blog posts offer you valuable insights. Feel free to engage with me through messages or by commenting on my posts. Cheers!

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