The Strength of Your Hand vs. Your Position in Poker

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Your Hand vs. Your Position

Because the relative strength of the hand you’re playing is so dependent on your position, it is quite obvious that you should be playing the strongest hands possible when you choose to play from the worst possible positions on the poker table.

How to Act While You’re in the Early Position at the Poker Table

Let’s see which types of poker hands you should bet with if you enter the pot in the early position. As we mentioned earlier, the problem with entering a pot from the early position is that other players have much more information than you do.

Obviously, you know what cards you’re holding. But you don’t have the slightest idea about the hands of your opponents. So, before you opt to put money into the pot, with six or seven players left to act behind you, you should be confident that your hand is strong enough, that you would call a raise with it if someone had raised in front of you, or if your hand is strong enough that you could re-raise with it for value.

Ideally, we’re looking to play only premium and very solid hands; like pairs that are above Sevens, Ace-King and Ace-Queen, and, perhaps, a stack suited, when we’re in the early position. What’s more: we should be willing to play these hands for a raise when we finally enter the pot. Raising in early poker position accomplishes three things.

  1. It tells our opponent that we have a strong hand that they should respect.
  2. It knocks out opponents. So we end up playing the hand against fewer players when those players have a position on us.
  3. It gives us the lead in the hand, meaning the players with more marginal hands are less likely to raise us before the flop, and are more likely to fold to us if we continuation bet after the flop.

In the earliest stages of the tournament, when your opponents tend to be playing looser, you really shouldn’t be playing anything more than the strongest range of these hands in early position. As the tournament moves on, and your opponents become more likely to fold before the flop, then you can open up your range. Just remember though: the worse your starting hand, the harder you have to connect with the flop in order to win, and the more likely that you will have to bluff in order to win that pot.

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