Poker Strategy—First Two Cards: Middle Position

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Poker Strategy First Two Cards: Middle Position

Texas Hold ’Em is a game where your position matters a lot. Knowing the importance of the position you are seated in is of utmost importance. The strategies, bet sizes, and types of bets depend a lot on your position. You have already seen the analysis of the starting hands you should play in the early positions. Now let us see what cards do well if you are at LoJack or HiJack (Middle Positions).

Playing from the middle position is not as risky as playing from an early position. It is still a difficult spot to be on, but the risk is balanced. You can play a few more cards than in the early positions. You have the advantage of guessing the hands of the players before you. Furthermore, a few players before you might have even folded, reducing the competition on the table.  

Playing At A Loose/Aggressive Table

Poker Strategy First Two Cards: Middle Position

If the game is loose or aggressive, you should not play weak hands like King-Jack off suited or a Ten- Eight suited. It is not possible to steal the blinds with these kinds of hands. You can attempt this feat at a later position. But if you play such hands at the middle position, the chances are that a player after you will try to isolate you by 3 betting your raise. 

Playing At A Loose, But Slightly Aggressive Table:

If you are at a loose, but only somewhat aggressive game, play different types of hands differently. For example, small pairs should be played less often, depending on the table texture. Suited consecutive cards (suited connectors) can be played a little more on such tables. Although, analyze the card odds here. If you are expecting good cards to show at the flop, playing hands like Two-Two off suited or Eight-Two suited would be an average decision.

Poker Strategy First Two Cards: Middle Position

If there are more than two players on the table, you can participate in the multiway pot. In this scenario, the above cards are playable since they increase the chances of a good flop.

Don’t Just Call

At middle position, it is even fishier to call first in. Especially with excellent hands, like Ace-King suited, you should never call. This might give the impression that you are trying to steal the blinds, and the players at a later position might play higher tricks up their sleeve. This might lead you to lose the call. It is thus advisable to always raise with such good hands.

Reading Opponents’ Hands

Poker Strategy First Two Cards: Middle Position

If an opponent has better hands like Ace-Ace suited or Ace-King suited, it is only logical to fold. Analyzing an opponent’s hands might be difficult at a table with fewer players, so go for calling or raising small multiples of the previous bet. If the pot has been previously raised, it is safe to re-raise with hands like pairs of Aces, Kings, Queens, or suited and off suited Ace-King. It is recommended to occasionally raise with slightly lower ranking hands, like Ten-Nine suited or a pair of Eights. That way, you keep your opponents guessing and maybe even lead them to fold.

If you have one other loose opponent, you should re-raise hands like Ace-Queen off suited. But if the villain seems unpredictable, it is safer to fold.

Concluding

You should almost always Raise instead of Calling in the following situations:

  1. You are the first one to enter the pot
  2. You have a reasonably good hand
  3. You feel that there is a reasonable chance (as small as 25%) that all payers after you (even the blinds) will fold. If not, you should instead call with your best hands, and fold some of the weaker hands that you would have otherwise raised.

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