Position, when used in a game of poker, refers to where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, which determines the turn order for each hand. Knowing when your turn comes up in relation to the other players at the table can give you a big advantage when it comes time to make a decision. We can’t stress enough how important it is for players to ne conscious of and take advantage of their position in a poker game! This is especially true in Texas Hold’em poker.
The most important decision you make based on position is with your starting hand. If you follow this advice and make a good decision based on your starting hand, you’ll be off to a great start for the rest of the game.
There are three categories of position in Texas Hold’em poker: early, middle, and late. Early position means you play first, second, or even third. Early position is the weakest one to be in, because you don’t have the luxury of seeing how other players act before you make your own decision about what to do. For this reason, when you’re in early position you need to play tight and fold if you don’t have great cards. Raise only when you have a winning combination, such as two aces, two kings, or even an ace and a king if they’re of the same suit. Go ahead and call if you’re holding two high cards of the same suit, or a high pair. If you have something else, it’s safest to fold rather than call in order to see the flop, but if the blind is small enough, it’s up to you if you think it’s worth it.
If you find yourself in the middle position, meaning you play fourth, fifth, or sixth, you don’t have to play quite so tight. Call or raise if you’re holding any of the above mentioned hands, or call if you’re holding a pair of nines or eights or other strong hand.
If you’re in the late position, definitely call if you’re holding an ace or a pair. If there was a raise before your turn, however, it pays to be a little more conservative and fold if your hand isn’t very strong.
Knowing when to fold at the right time is the key to winning in the long run when it comes to any poker game, but it is especially true when playing Texas Hold’em poker. Players across Canada, pro and amateur alike, must remember that patience is even more a virtue in poker than in daily life. No matter how eager you are to win or how much you want to get in on the excitement and action of a hand, sometimes – often, in fact – choosing to fold is the smartest action you can take.
Nowhere is this patience more necessary than when you see your starting hand before the flop. The two hole cards you’re dealt determine your next action regardless of how lucky you’re feeling, how much you want to get involved, or how close you are to winning it all. If your starting hand isn’t strong, chances are you better fold, sit back, and observe the rest of the players patiently and calmly. This is one of the hardest things to do, but this restraint and patience are very necessary if you want to win the game.
Good players fold more often than they play, and this is what makes them so great. If their starting hand doesn’t look promising, they fold and wait for a better one to come along. Depending on who you ask, the ratio of hands played to hands folded can vary, but many veteran players who have had a lot of poker success over time estimate that they don’t play more than twenty percent of the hands dealt to them. This may seem quite low to you, but this is where patience comes in handy! Playing tight will save your bankroll time and time again, and by only betting on hands you feel very confident have the potential to win, you’ll see how great this strategy is as you take pot after pot.
One of the most intimidating aspects of poker that may scare away new players is the extensive use of jargon and specialized terms. If only these words were spoken in plain English rather than poker speak, every poker novice would have the chance to jump right in and understand the rules of the game much easier. To encourage this quick and painless immersion for all Canadians new to the game of poker, Poker.ca has put together a list of important words to keep in mind when playing poker with a focus on Texas Hold’em.
Due to the popularity of poker and other such games in Canada, even Canadians who have never played poker are probably aware of the word ‘ante’. This is the name of the pre-determined quantity of money that players must put into the pot before the poker game can begin. In the Texas Hold’em style of poker, however, there often is no ante. For this reason, there’s another term that is used in such cases: ‘blind’. A blind is basically poker jargon for a forced bet. In Texas Hold’em poker games, this means that the player directly to the left of the dealer is called the ‘big blind’, and the player to the left of the big blind is called the ‘small blind’.
If there is no ante being played in a poker game, the two blinds are the only players who have to put money into the pot to get the hand started. For each hand of poker, these roles rotate so that different players are the big blind and small blind for each hand, making sure that everyone shares the financial role.
The next step involves each poker player being dealt two cards, face down. When cards are dealt face down in poker, they’re called ‘hole cards’, or just ‘the hole’. Conversely, the next three cards that are dealt will be face up community cards and known as ‘the flop’. The fourth community card in Texas Hold’em poker is called ‘the turn’, and the fifth is called ‘the river’. The origins of these poker terms are up for debate, but as long as you remember them, you are well on your way to understanding the game of poker.
Canadians love Texas Hold’em. The origin of this overwhelming popularity is fairly recent and can be traced back to ESPN’s broadcast of the World Series of Poker in 2003. In this particular series, an online poker star named Chris Moneymaker qualified for the event by dominating several online poker tournaments. Canadians loved the idea that such an elite championship like the World Series of Poker could be made available to anyone, famous or otherwise, so long as they had the necessary poker skills and proved themselves through online poker or more traditional means. The 2003 champion had been an amateur online poker player until his television debut, taking Canada and the world by storm and fueling a surge in popularity for the variety of poker that way played in the championship – Texas Hold’em.
Around this time TV commercials began to advertise online poker rooms as well, which inspired record numbers of Canadians to flock to the internet to learn how to play Texas Hold’em themselves. This knowledge and personal experience with the game of poker inspired even more poker players in Canada to follow the championship games on TV and online, further contributing to the rise in popularity for poker in general and Texas Hold’em specifically.
More Canadians than ever are drawn to the game due to its egalitarian nature, encouraging anyone to play no matter their level of expertise, background, or social status. Anyone has the right to enjoy Texas Hold’em poker in Canada, making it an increasing popular pastime for more and more people each year.