Looking at position in no limit hold’em ring games

It doesn’t matter whether you play six max or full ring no limit hold’em, the effect of a positional disadvantage is huge in terms of being able to make money from those seats. Let us first look at the dynamics of being out of position. If you limp in like in a full ring game then you are basically advertising the fact that your hand is weak. This invites players to raise you and take the initiative in the hand. If you rise then you are basically telling the entire table what your hand strength is and this is never more highlighted than in full ring.

Minimise the loss of bad position

It is obvious that you will be out of position to anyone who calls your raise except the blinds. So you will simply not make money when out of position and even aces make more money when they have position. There are all sorts of tricky and alternative plays you can make when you are out of position but keep in mind that what I am about to propose is a way to lose less money and not to make money. In this instance then it is kind of like defensive splitting in blackjack. In that game then you are often required to split hands in unfavourable situations.

At first this seems counter-intuitive but let us say that you wager $10 on a hand of blackjack and you get a pair of eights against a ten. Let us then say that the mathematical expectation of that bet was for you to lose $2. In this situation then it would seem crazy to put more money onto the table and spilt the eights but they combine to make 16 and that is not a good total against a ten. But when they are split then they become two separate eights. Now even though there is $20 on the table instead of $10 then the combined EV may now be only -$1 for example.

Getting the follow up correct

So by placing more money onto the table then you have made the situation better and not worse. Now let us look at an analogy with poker for a minute with the hand A-Js UTG in full ring. Clearly if you raise then you are doing so blind with so many people to be heard from after you. If you limp then you invite people to attack your limps and so force you onto the defensive. But in the right set of circumstances then limping can be a good play if the follow up is right. For example if it gets raised and re-raised then you can fold with impunity safe in the knowledge that you are losing to the three bettors range.

However when players attack limpers then you can represent a big pair by limp re-raising. Over the long term then it is debatable if this play makes money but it is akin to defensive splitting in blackjack in principle and is designed for you to lose less and not to make a profit when out of position.