Table Position - Under the Gun

Where you are at the table in relation to the dealer can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you play. It is always wise to play according to where you are located for an overall winning strategy.

First Position

Being in the first position at the table, to the left of the big blind, means you bet first. This is the worst place to find yourself, because everyone else's bets and raises are going to be based on your actions. Known as the "under the gun" spot, you are scrutinized and analyzed by others based on your every move. You are often forced to fold if your hand is not outstanding.

How to Play in the First Position

When stuck in the first position, don't be impulsive. Instead, demonstrate some patience. If you have a good hand, place strong bets and the other players may fold. You can also place a conservative bet with a strong hand, hoping to throw others off guard, but they may place small bets as well, and you will have to force them out later with higher bets. If you believe you do not have the top pair in this round, you can choose to draw or even fold.

Playing cautiously in the first few positions is the only way to hang in the game. Folding often is to be expected until blinds move around the table and you can finally reach one of the last positions to take advantage of the other players.