When you are in the late position you will have an idea of the strength of you opponents’ hands by how they bet. If there have been no raises you can play weaker starting hands and hope that the flop will fit your hand. If there have been no callers, and you are last to act, you can sometimes steal the blind merely by raising with a marginal hand because of your position. You will hear players refer to this play as a positional raise.

In late position after the flop, you have more information to help you decide how to play. You can raise if your opponents bet or you can bet if everyone has checked. You may decide to check to gain a free card. If there have been bets or raises before you, and your hand was not helped by the flop, you can fold without it costing you an additional bet.

In early position you do not have this luxury after the flop. If you bet there is the chance that you will be raised. If you check in the hopes of check raising, there is a chance that everyone else will check and you will lose some potential money that would have gone into the pot.

The chart below shows a quick reference to the positions in a ten-person game. If there were fewer players in the game you would adjust this. Play Online

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Before I started studying Texas Hold'em and learning how to play properly I thought all I had to do was learn the starting hands and what to do after the flop. I knew absolutely nothing about one of the most vital aspects of the game, position. Position ranks second only to starting cards in deciding whether or not to play your hand. Understanding position is an important concept if you want to be a winning player.

Your position is determined by where you are sitting in relation to the dealer's button. Unlike games like stud, where the betting order changes with each betting round, the order is fixed in Texas Hold'em. Before the flop the person to the left of the big blind bets first. After the flop the first active player to the left of the dealer button acts first. If you are in early position you will remain there for all betting rounds.

If you play a weak or marginal hand in early position before the flop, you are at risk of getting raised by those acting after you. There is also a possibility of multiple raises. If you decide to fold, you have cost yourself a bet without ever seeing any other cards. Before you make a bet in early position you have to ask yourself if the hand is strong enough to call a raise from a player in a later position. If you would not call a raise with your starting hand you should throw it away. Some hands are drawing hands that play better with many opponents calling the pot. If you have to act first, you have no idea how many players will call or fold.

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