Poker Table Positions:

Understanding Player Roles

In the dynamic game of poker, understanding the various player positions around the table is crucial. Each position comes with its unique advantages and challenges, influencing the way you play your hands.

This guide will walk you through all the positions at the poker table, providing short explanations, pros, and cons for each.

Poker Table Positions

So, let's start:

Small Blind (SB):

The Small Blind is the first forced bet in poker. This player sits to the left of the dealer button and contributes a smaller blind bet before the cards are dealt.


  • Only the big blind (BB) acts after him in the first betting round.
  • Gets a discount to call in the first betting round.


  • Must invest money in the pot without seeing their cards.
  • Limited information to make informed decisions.

Big Blind (BB):

The Big Blind is the second forced bet and is placed by the player to the left of the Small Blind. The Big Blind amount is usually double the Small Blind.


  • Acts last on the first betting round.
  • Gets to see the flop at a discount.


  • Similar to the Small Blind, forced to invest money without card information.
  • Vulnerable to steals from late positions.

Under the Gun (UTG):

The player in the Under the Gun position sits to the left of the Big Blind. This is the first player to act after the hole cards are dealt.


  • Opportunity to set the tone for the hand.
  • Can build a strong image by raising with premium hands.


  • Limited information about opponents' hands.
  • Vulnerable to re-raises from later positions.
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Middle Position (MP):

In a full ring table there are two players in Middle Positions: MP1 and MP2. These players sit after the Under the Gun position but before the hijack.


  • Have more information due to earlier players' actions.
  • Can play a wider range of hands depending on opponents.


  • Still susceptible to raises from later positions.
  • Need to carefully consider table dynamics and opponents' tendencies.

Hijack (HJ):

The Hijack position is to the right of the Middle Positions and one spot away from the Cutoff.


  • A strong position for opening with a wider range of hands.
  • Can put pressure on players in later positions.


  • Still need to be wary of Cutoff and Button actions.
  • Still vulnerable to players in later positions re-raising.

Cutoff (CO):

The Cutoff is one of the most advantageous positions. This is a strong position for both stealing blinds and playing speculative hands, as most players have already acted. This player sits to the right of the Button.


  • Close to the Button, which provides excellent post-flop position.
  • Can steal the blinds with a wider range of hands.


  • Still need to be cautious of Button and Blind actions.
  • Can face re-raises from players in later positions.

Button (BTN):

The Button is the most advantageous position. Being the last to act in each post flop betting round provides strategic advantages, as you can gauge the actions of other players before making decisions.


  • Maximum information advantage throughout the hand.
  • Can steal pots with weaker hands due to favorable position.


  • Need to adjust play based on the actions of earlier positions.
  • Can face difficult decisions if the Small or Big Blind defends.


Understanding poker positions is essential for mastering the game and it doesn't matter if you play live poker or online poker. Each position presents unique opportunities and challenges that can greatly impact your strategy. Always remember that position matters, and adjusting your play based on where you sit can lead to more successful outcomes at the table.

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