Poker Positioning and Betting Patterns

We should know the proper use of poker positioning and betting patterns to our advantage in Texas Holdem. Here is an example of how this tactic works.

The first thing we have to do is know who the callers and loose players are at a table before we engage in a hand with these players. For instance we have an A-K, we should raise the pot to limit callers at the table to only one or two callers. If our poker positioning is an early player we should strive to always represent the flop no matter what cards are on the board.

If we're not playing for an early poker positioning we must get a good read on our opponent. We must see the difference between the opponent's current and previous play and betting behavior. Raising the pot is a quick way to place the opponent on a particular hand. If we have A-K and play from a late poker positioning, raise pre-flop and hope to get a caller, preferably the big blind.

We still don't know what the opponent has. The opponent called our pre-flop wager probably because the person was pot-committed to do so. Then the flop comes 9-4-Q. Then the opponent makes a substantial bet. Does the opponent have a strong hand or does the opponent merely trying to represent the flop (or bluffing)? Remember what poker position the opponent is playing from.

It also pays to see the opponent's chip stack, the opponent's customary play style, the number of players at the table, poker positioning, and so on. But we can also simply raise the opponent's bet to see through the opponent's substantial bet. If Max, the opponent, wagered $100 we raise it to, say, $300.

Now we control Max because the brunt of decision is now on him. The opponent has the following options: call our bet and check the card at the turn; raise our bet and bet on the card at the turn; or fold. If Max uses the first option he has weak hands so we can buy the pot when the turn phase of the game comes. If he uses the second option Max probably has something strong. It's time to consider folding the A-K.

However, should Max use the third option, obviously we just won. So the key here is to consider all poker positioning, raise the bet, and see the opponent's betting pattern. To see what the opponent really has we can't just call or check-call the bet.

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