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Texas Hold'em: Positions on a Poker Table

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The Poker101 video series starts from the very beginning and covers the very basic of poker strategy. As the video series progresses, the strategy gets progressively more advanced. The Poker101 article collection complements the video series as an easy go-to guide for learning Texas Hold'em.

Typical Full Ring Table

Poker101 Lesson 3: Positions on a Poker Table

In this article, you will learn about table positions in texas hold'em. At the end of this article you should know the locations of each table position, when each position acts on each street, and why late position is the best position to be in.


Table Position refers to where you sit in reference to other players. Knowing the terminology will be key for reviewing hands and situations with your friends and coaches. Being "In Position" means you are acting after your opponent on each street and will provide several advantages. Table position on a standard full ring 9-handed table can be broken down into a few key categories:

Early position(EP): Acts before most players in the hand.

Early Position at a Poker Table
  • Under The Gun(UTG): 1st to act pre-flop, UTG is directly to the left of the big blind.

  • UTG+1: 2nd to act pre-flop, UTG+1 is directly to the left of UTG.

  • UTG+2: 3rd to act pre-flop, UTG+2 is directly to the left of UTG+1.

Middle Position(MP): Acts before some players, but after others.

Middle Position at a Poker Table
  • Middle Position: Fourth to act pre-flop, directly to the left of UTG+2 and 3 to the right of the Button. This position may also be referred to as MP1.

  • Hijack(HJ): 5th to act pre-flop, the HJ is directly to the left of MP1 and 2 to the right of the Button. The Hijack is also referred to as MP2.

Late Position(LP): Acts after most players in the hand.

Late Position at a Poker Table
  • Cutoff(CO): 6th to act pre-flop, the CO is directly to the left of HJ and to the right of the Button.

  • Button(BU): 7th to act pre-flop, the BU is directly to the right of the blinds. The Button always acts last post-flop.

Blinds: Acts after all other players pre-flop, but acts first post-flop.

The Blinds at a Poker Table
  • Small Blind(SB): 8th to act pre-flop, the SB is directly to the left of the Button. The SB posts a required small blind pre-flop which is equal to usually 1/2 the BB. The SB is first to act on all post-flop streets.

  • Big Blind(BB): Last to act pre-flop, directly to the left of the SB. The BB posts a required big blind pre-flop and acts after the SB on all post-flop streets.

Table Adjustments

10-Handed: At a 10-handed table, an extra position is added between MP1 and HJ. This new position is referred to as MP2 and HJ may be referred to as MP3.

6-handed: At a 6-handed table, the numbered positions are taken out. The positions then become: UTG, MP, CO, Button, SB, and BB.

Why Position Matters

Position is one of the most important aspects to consider when playing every hand and effects the action on all streets. The way you play a specific hand out of position (OOP) will sometimes differ greatly from when you are in position (IP).

Players in late position will have more information available to them before they act. By playing in late position, you see your opponents act first. During the pre-flop round, you will know how many people will play and have an idea of their hand strength. If every one limps in and no one raises, there is a good chance every one has a weak hand.

During each post-flop round, you can see how interested they are in the hand as they are forced to act first. Your bluffs will become more successfull and you will be able to get value from your made hands more often. Being last to act to post-flop will allow you to win more pots, value bet more effectively, and see more showdowns.

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