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  • October 1, 2020

Online Poker Dictionary: Early Position | Part 2

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Pre-flop, early position is the seat immediately to the left of the big blind. On larger tables this can include the next couple of players as well. After the flop, well, it’s the first player to act.
Playing in early position and making good decisions is hard.
Why? You’re acting first, with less information. That’s why it can feel like a guessing game.
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What to play in early position?
Simply put – premium hands.
If you’re in early position and first to bet, you’ve got to be a bit of a spoiled brat. Only play with the best hands but bear the following in mind:
Mix it up when you’re playing with small pairs to medium pairs like 10-10 and J-J by varying between raising and calling
Hands with two big cards like K-Q or J-10 may look good but they can get you into trouble when you land up cornered after the flop
Fancy trying a cunning move? Trap other players with a re-raise. The ideal hands to do it with are A-A, K-K and Q-Q. Just call the big blind – hoping this will be seen as a weakness – then raise and finally do the re-raise. This crafty little trick works the best at an aggressive table where raising and re-raising happens often enough that doing it won’t set off any alarm bells
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Top late position tips:
Small, but mighty, pairs
Opportunities come in small packages in early position. Small pairs are the easiest hands to play in early position.
Why? Because after the flop you’ve either completed your set and can start working out how to milk the most money out of the hand or it’s a dead end and you can back out without losing much.
Watch out, though. You could still get into a bad situation later on in the hand.
Guessing game
After the flop things get tough when you’re out of position (not one of the first players to act). Do you bet or check?
If you’ve got a decent hand and multiple opponents, bet. It’s a handy way to stop players hanging around and getting the cards to make a winning hand
When you’re at a table with aggressive players, check-raising is a better move. This’ll mean more money in the pot when you’re confident you’ve got the best hand.
Checking
When you’ve raised before the flop and been called, checking after the flop (with intention of check-raising) can be a good move.
When?
Check-raise if you’ve got a strong hand, like:
An overpair (a pocket pair higher than anything in the flop)
A top pair (a pair made up of one of your pocket cards and the highest card in the flop)
You can also use this technique as a bluff. For instance, when you’ve got A-K and didn’t make a pair on the flop. If you’re called by another player and the cards that still haven’t been drawn complete your hand, it’s likely to be better than the other player’s.
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