Knowing Your Relative Position in Poker

As any experienced player would tell you, anticipating other players’ positions in poker is vital if you want to make the right moves. This is true most especially in Texas Hold’em. It’s always an advantage to act last and see your opponent’s play before you make your own move.

If you have a button seat, of a cut off, are generally the most advantageous seats at a poker table. This gives you an advantage over other players who have to enter the pot first. However, it’s not as simple as that. Aside from your actual position, you should think about your “relative position” to the one who will raise the pre-flop bet.

This is because your relation to this bettor can actually overpower your actual position in the game. You may have a button or a cut off seat, but you can still lose the game if you’re in the wrong side of the table to the pre-flop raiser. The relative position is only important if the pre-flop raiser raises a continuation bet.

If you’re the player who needs to act after the continuation bet, you’re most likely to be sandwiched between two types of players: someone who holds a probable strong hand (hence the continuation bet), and someone who just checked the raiser and who could hold a wide range of hands.

The best position to have in this situation is to be to the right of the preflop raiser. This is because sitting to the right of the raiser will make sure that you close off the bet. You will also be able to observe how other players react when the continuation bet is made. You should always know your relative position along with your actual position to get the upper hand in the game.

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