There are numerous things to consider when playing tournament poker. In terms of a game plan, your strategy needs to be adaptable depending on what kind of players you are up against and how deep into the tournament you are. One thing that you should stick to relatively rigidly throughout is playing position. If you want to win more poker tournaments, you should wait until you have a good spot on the table before you make your big moves. There are many advantages to this method, and all professional players adhere to this rule.
Anyone who has played a poker game before will know that the dealer chip moves to the left after each hand, with the small and big blinds moving with it. This means that the order in which a hand is played changes every time. This keeps the game fair and creates a level playing field for everyone. You may have realised while playing that you have more success when you are at certain positions of the table, but you may not have stopped to consider why this is. No matter whether you play low or high stakes at sites like Paddy Power Poker, if you want to give yourself a chance of winning the tournament, you need to get used to playing the best positions.
Being in position at a table means that you are one of the last people to act in a hand. Every time you are on the button you are in the best possible position. However, if you are one or two places to the right of the button you can try to muscle those players to your left off their hands and steal the position before going into the flop. When you are the last to act in a hand, you have a good opportunity to gauge the strength of everyone else’s cards. If everyone checks in front of you, you can start to control the game by introducing some bets. If your hand is weak but you suspect the players in front of you are weak as well, you have a much better chance of bluffing them off their hands when you have the final say in a round.
Professionals like Daniel Negreanu stress the importance of waiting for good positions before betting large amounts. When you are out of position you only want to be playing monster hands like high pocket pairs and high suited connectors. In position, though, you can play a much wider range of hands. You also need to consider position when trying to get a read on your opponents. You need to try to remember the range of hands they have played while in different spots at the table, and work out whether they could be bluffing or not.
Next time you’re in a poker tournament, try folding every hand until you are in the final positions on the table. You will see how much more power you have when you are the last person to actin a hand.