How to Get the Best Position on Your Opponent

How to Get the Best Position on Your Opponent

You’re at a major tourney, lucky enough to make it into the money. With everyone else in the field doing really well this may be the time you get some action with a big raise, particularly if you have a stack that susceptible to being busted. You can usually save yourself some coin by limping in and just making a pre-flop raise, but the real benefits of having position on your opponent are two-fold.Firstly, you’ll be in a better position to determine your opponents’ holdings. If you have position on a tight aggressive player, you’ll be in a much better position to determine what hand he plays than if you’re in early position, allowing you to decide whether you want to risk your chips in the attempt to isolate the hand between you and your opponent, or just let the aggressive player take the blinds and antes themselves. If you have position on a loose passive player, you’ll be in a much better position to determine whether your tight aggressive opponent plays nothing, or whether he holds something premium if your pre-flop raise didn’t push him off his hand.

If you’re in late position, you may even be in a position to re-raise your opponent if you suspect he has something, though consider that if you’re in early position at the table you’re still in position to your opponents’ raises. If you’re in late position and your opponent has raised in front of you, a 3xBB (AfaPoker) raise will force most players with less-than-optimal holdings to fold. This is as good a time as any to assess the situation and determine if your hand is formidable enough to risk your stack against your opponent, even if you’re concerned about being outdrawn. If you’re not concerned about being outdrawn, you can comfortably raise your bet on the flop to attempt to take down the pot, or you can check and take down the pot pre-flop.

Last is the scenario that we hope we never find ourselves in. If we’re experienced and confident we’ve got the best hand, regardless of our cards on the flop, we shouldn’t be thinking about outplaying our hand and thinking about how to get the best odds we can. We should be focused, Analysis the opponent, and attempt to read his strength at this late stage of the game. If he’s a player who calls a lot of small raises, usually puts a small amount in the pot pre-flop, and only goes larger after the flop, it’s safe to assume he’s short stacked. A player like this, will be easy to scare or trap. Look for numerous pre-flop calls by a player who consistently goes small, and when he calls your raise, beware.

Middle Stage

This is the stage you want to loosen up and play more hands, providing you’re still in position. The blinds will be around your chip stack. If you have a tight image, you can safely take a few small risks and build your stack out in front of you. If you’re a station near the money, you can play a few big pots to try and steal some blinds and antes. If you take down a pot or two, you’re usually still in position to protect your blind so you can get back in the game.

Late Stage

Nets you the most chips. At this stage in the game your bets and raises will have big impact on your stack. Sometimes you’ll want to take risks and others you’ll want to be more patient. You’ll want to always make balance between these two factors. The old adage that you should play tight early and then loosen up later is sound advice. Play tight throughout the middle rounds and then loosen up for the end. If you lose all your chips early, you’ve still got a lot of outs to pick up the blinds and antes. If you take down a pot, you’ve made a good chunk of your money back. So, take down a pot, win a hand, and then tighten up, and you’ll be the one on top.

Different stages of the game will require different strategy. Odds will vary player to player and also, the game before yours may be completely different that the one before yours. Attempting to use past reference cards to make probability decisions is wise at this time. Bors and close games will also be occurring and can mean opportunity or gone. If you’re the higher stack, you can use this to your advantage if you have a strong hand or if you have a weaker hand in a good position to take it all.