How to play pots in position
Ability to play pots in position is what separates the pros from the fish. By knowing how to play pots in position you can dominate your opponents and make them feel very uncomfortable with anything but aces! There are a few simple key points that you should remember when playing pots in position in no limit Holdem.
First, be aggressive both pre and post flop. Try to identify weak players that will often fold to your raise giving you the pot for free. By playing aggressive it will make it difficult for the other players at the table to judge the strength of your hand. If they choose to play back at you at the wrong time it could end in disaster for them! Don’t just be aggressive pre flop. Post flop is a great place for many plays like continuation bets and double barrel bluffs if you think your opponents could be calling with weak holdings.
Have a wide range
When you are playing in position it is important to play lots of hands. Playing a wide variety of hands serves many purposes. It confuses opponents by giving you a huge range allowing for big bluffs and well timed value bets. Many times you can raise a wide range from the button and the cut off if the blinds are playing too tight. While stealing 1 big blind and 1 small blind may not seem like much in today’s tough online environment it is important to take every advantage you can get. Some of the best players open with almost 75% of hands when it folds to them on the button! While this may seem overly aggressive their knowledge of the game, ability to read hands and get away from trouble hands cheaply allows them to open many hands in late position.
Another important part of playing pots in position is bluffing. It is essential that you are not afraid to bluff your opponents out of big and small pots. Constantly raising and trying to take every pot you can from the other players will increase your win rate and eventually cause someone to spew off a buy in to you in a big pot. Just be sure to not go too crazy! Be sure to have accurate reads on the players you are trying to bluff. If they are very loose and seem willing to throw their chips around it might be better to wait for a more profitable spot. Even if you get caught a few times don’t fret. It’s good that your opponents know you are capable of bluffing, eventually they will call your river shove with middle pair!
When playing pots in position the reads you have on your opposition can be even more valuable than the cards in your hand. Being able to make expert value bets versus calling stations with both hands your big hands like aces as well as hands like middle pair will make you the most feared player at the table. Be sure to know your limits, while running big bluffs and timely value bets is fun sometimes folding is the best play. If you just beat the same guy out of 5 pots in a row it or you having nothing versus a loose fish it might be best to give the hand up and move on the fight another day.
Knowing how to play pots in position allows you to open your game up both pre and post flop. It makes you a much better poker player and is a sure fire way to increase your win rate. While it may take some practice to get used to playing hands in position eventually you will see the benefits of opening your range from late position in your bankroll.