Know your place

June 6, 2012 How-To

You may be facing different situations at the table, depending which side of the button you are sitting on. Therefore, you can always take advantage of your position for better outcome — as being said by our authors in the Academy of the website. To “know your place” and to adjust your bets accordingly is what you need to win the pot.

There are four position groups: blinds, early positions (EP), middle positions (MP), and late positions (LP). So what are particular characteristics of each position?


Small blind (SB) and big blind (BB) are two positions to the left from the dealer (Button).

Position features: These two players make forced bets known as small and big blind. These bets are made without knowledge of the pocket cards (blindly), that’s where the name of two positions comes from.

Table positions

Early positions — UTG

Under the Gun — one or several positions to the left from the big blind. Depending on the table size, from 1 to 3 players can be in early position.

The first is marked as UTG, and the following players (if there is more than one player in the early position) are marked as UTG+1, UTG+2.

Position features: being “Under the gun” a player has to be careful in his decisions, since this position implies that you can only guess what your opponents are going to undertake.

Middle positions — MP

Middle Position follows the early position. 1 to 2 players can be in the middle position, depending on the size of the table. The first is marked as MP (or MP1), and the second as MP2.

Position features: players in this position have already witnessed actions of some of their opponents, so it is usually easier for them to make calculations and decisions.

Hijack follows the MP position. It is the player to the right from Cut-off. Same as MP2 at longhanded tables, or MP at shorthanded tables. Marked as HJ.

Position features: players in this position can control the game by not letting late position players to steal the pot. Considered to be one of the strongest positions.

Table positions

Late positions — Cut-off, Button

Cut-off (CO)— one of the last positions, goes right before the button.

Button — position to the left from the Cut-off, stands for the dealer. It is the latest position at the table. This position is indicated by a special “D” token.

Position features: late positions are the most profitable and considered the best. Having the most information when acting and so many opportunities to steal pots, Button is considered to be the best possible position.

For more information about positions and their meaning go to the Academy of and read Abbreviated Position article.

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