Poker School

Poker table positions: how to choose the right seat to maximise winnings

Choosing the right game can mean the difference between cashing in and going bust. Here, we walk you through some factors that will help you pick the right seat, including:

Pot size

A big pot usually means a lot of betting action, which is good to know (unless it’s just two deep-stacked players getting into a stand-off).

Players seeing the flop

A more reliable sign is the number of players seeing the flop. When this gets to 30% for nine or 10-handed games and 40% for short-handers, the game is going to be loose – great if you’re playing disciplined poker.

Average buy-in

Sounds odd, but the more players buying in at the maximum, the better. Why? It’s hard to play against short stacks and you won’t win much if you do. This goes double when you have a lot of multi-tabling players. It’s not that they’re amazing players, but they know what they’re doing at their particular limit.

Of course, there’s no point going up against big stacks unless you’ve got the edge. Once you’ve been playing a while, you’ll recognise the names that spell trouble and stick with tables where you have the upper hand.

Which position?

Money generally moves clockwise around the table, so once you’ve spotted where the best players are, sit to their left (if you can).

Time to move on

Finally, don't feel that once you're in a seat you're bound to it. In fast-paced online games, especially six-max, players tend to change on a regular basis. If your table takes a turn that doesn’t suit you, move to another.

Poker tracking

If the stats seem a lot to take in, don’t worry – that’s what poker tracking software is for.

These programmes do the hard work for you, crunching stats by player or table, so you can really see what’s going on. For example, Voluntary Put in Pot (or VPIP) tells you how loose or tight the game is (the looser the better).