Your position at the table normally doesn’t matter much in most types of gambling, but in a game of poker it could end up being the difference between winning and losing. The right spot at the table can help intermediate players get that much needed edge and take their game up by a notch or two. So how do you really position yourself in order to ensure that you get the best seat in comparison to your opponents? Remember, seat selections are quite important. It is also an aspect of the game that most people are likely to end up ignoring.
There are no superstitions involved here. Choosing a seat is an important decision because it determines the gameplay and helps you take advantage of impulsive players or save yourself from tactically clever players. In other words, sitting next to players skilled players will not win you as much money as sitting next to impulsive players will.
Yes, there are some variations of poker where the seating doesn’t matter at all. For example, when it comes to rotating games, each player is given a chance to start the betting. Therefore, your seating order doesn’t matter as much since the playing order is constantly changing. However, when it comes to the Texas Hold’em and Poker tournaments, you can definitely take advantage of proper seat selections.
It always helps to have players who are easy to frighten and timid in their gameplay to your left and impulsive and aggressive players to your right. This allows you to give your game a proper direction and maximize the traits of your opponents to your advantage. Why? You would always want the aggressive players to bet before you. If they raise, you can make your decisions based on the bet amount and also have the option to fold without having to waste precious chips. Similarly, when you have timid players to your left, you would always want to act first and force them to fold the strongest hand as well.
Since the money flows in a clockwise direction around the table, it always helps to place those who are most likely to raise to your right. This helps to make playing the game a lot easier for you. Moreover, the seating wouldn’t matter as much in live casinos. You should also remember that highly skilled players are likely to move to tables that match their skill level. So make sure that you choose a table according to your own skill level.
For new players in poker, seating should never be a priority. Any player with any amount of skill is likely to beat you in the long run. So make the most of your experience in trying to get the hang of the game, understanding the various strategies, defining your own playing style and learning how to read other players. You can concentrate on seating arrangements later on in your careers.
Check out poker wizard Phil Galfond’s thoughts on position: