Late Position (LP for short)

Being in late position is a big advantage in poker and especially Texas Hold’em.

When in late position you are in a great position to get a good read on the tables play and make good decisions based on the strength of your hand or the strength of play being displayed before you. You can also relax your starting hand selection in late position and you can also begin playing pocket pairs a bit more liberally in late position.

This is also a great time to steal the buttons and make bluffs.

The blind steal is very difficult move for anyone in early or mid position. When you are in LP and everyone checks to you, this does give a good indication that your opponents are likely holding nothing of value and makes the bluff a much safer play.

The semi-bluff is raising a player who bet in early or mid position.

The semi bluff works in two different ways:

By raising, you are putting pressure on your opponent to possibly make them fold, especially if they only had a marginal hand to begin with.

By raising you can make your opponent slow his own action down by you showing strength and possibly making him check to you on the turn if he calls your raise from the flop.

If your opponent does check to you on the turn, then you have the option to try another semi–bluff or simply check as well and gain a free card on the river.

Making you opponent back up his decisions is a good way to play poker but this attitude must only be employed when you have a good read on the table. Never let players at your table smell weakness, as a good player will take you to pieces, and this is done through the size of your bets and your timing.

Use these options wisely; they should be used sparingly and with a good read of the table.

Using this as a strategy: Most beginners use a starting hand chart to see whether they should play their hand or not, but really you need to combine your starting hand knowledge along with table position. Not knowing position is an easy way to lose lots of money in poker, so pay attention and take notes. As a very general rule of thumb in early position you need to play stronger hands while you can play more drawing hands from a late position.

A hand like 9 10s is typically a drawing hand and would not be wise to play from an early position and should be folded as players in a late position could raise you forcing you to either commit more chips to the pot with what is a marginal hand or make you fold, which waists your initial bet. This same hand can be called from a late position when you have seen what the action is like. If the table is not showing strength you could actually raise but the beauty of LP is that you still have the option of folding your hand.

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