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Position:


    Many poker professionals state that the dealer position is the best betting position you will experience. This is true in most cases, but is not always the case (you will understand why I say this later). The dealer position is valuable due to the fact that you have the opportunity to see how many players are still in on the hand and how strongly they feel about their hand. Since Texas Holdem is played in a clockwise manner, those to the right of the dealer have less information to base their decisions on thus having a perceived disadvantage.

    Early betting positions are always subject to being raised by other players after you.
Any time you are in the dealer position with multiple callers AND you have a good starting hand, then you can usually increase the minimum bet with a slight guarantee that everyone will call. This is a wonderful way to increase the winning pot size. While I will not argue or try to belittle the dealer position, I will say that many online poker tournaments have been won by those who truly understand how to make the most out of the "blind" positions.

    Consider that you play a blind position 2-1 over the dealer position during a tournament. The "blinds" are what you would call an "early" position. You have no feedback from the other players as to what type of hand the think they have, and how much they are willing to wager on their hands. Unless you start out with strong hole cards, you need to be very
conservative and check your hand. If you do not have good starting cards, simply do not raise, do not call, do not fish, and do not take the chance, end of story. Often I see those in the big or small blind position take a gamble based upon the idea that they already have half of the ante in the pot, so why not gamble and call the other half. Why not? Because it is still truly a gamble and foolish . Especially when the blind stakes are high. Those who can resist this temptation are those who end up saving a good bit of chips for when they actually have a hand and need to use them. Remember, good players win with a solid game plan; they do not rely on luck or chance.

    While speaking of position, it is always a good time to introduce the art of bluffing. Believe me when I say this, bluffing is truly an art. Compare it to the abilities of a skilled artist whose brush dances around the canvas as if it had a mind of it's own - a competent holdem player can bluff his way around the table just as easily. While you can always bluff
one player easier than you can 9 players, position is a critical factor. If you know many of the players at the table are tight players and you feel the timing is right, then a blind position is the absolute best time to bluff a bad hand like no other. I say this for two reasons. One, there are no cards on the table, so even if an opponent has Ace/Ace in the hole, they have absolutely no idea if you have Ace/Ace also.

    When bluffing from a blind position before a flop the mindset should be "my cards are just as good or better than yours and I'll prove it with my wager". But keep this in mind; if you raise a substantial amount on the bluff, and you get more than one caller, one of them will usually have a very strong hand they are proud of. If this is the case, back off of your bet and fold. There is no harm done here, do not be a victim of playing your ego. When bluffing from the blind position you are really only concerned with "stealing the other blind" and nothing more.

    Now consider the post-flop bluff from a blind position assuming you have one or more callers. If an ace (or any strong possible combination such as 3 sequence cards etc.) shows on the board, you have the option of slightly raising the bet again to see if your opponents are actually holding anything of value. If not, they will most likely fold their hand fearing that their king or queen will not hold up to your "supposed" ace and so on. With callers on the table this is effectively the opposite of "blind stealing" and a tactic used by many of the best online poker players. Nothing is more powerful than bluffing the blind stealer. I would advise that you use this tactic with caution, and do not over play it. It is much more effective if you do not overplay it. The more experienced players will catch on to you if you abuse it.

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