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Sports & Gaming

Understanding Position

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 12:30 min

Learn how to immediately improve your game by playing the right cards at the right time. Daniel evaluates early, middle, and late position strategies and provides tips on how to capitalize on the opportunities that each position affords.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
Join Daniel at the poker table. Learn his strategies to advance your cash, tournament, and online play.


So if you ever watch poker on TV, you hear them talk about position a lot and position being super important. And I think one of the easiest ways to explain the importance of position, is to use, actually, a blackjack analogy. Right? So many of you, I imagine, have played 21, blackjack, and when you do go to Las Vegas and play, you know, there are situations sometimes that come up where you've got 14. Right? And the dealer is showing a four. So the best the dealer could have is 14. The problem is, you have to go first. Right? So you go first, and you're going to hit on the 14, some of the time and bust. So the dealer doesn't even have to draw a card-- automatically wins. Now, using that analogy in terms of how it works with poker is, when you're the button and you get to go last and your opponent goes first on every street, you gain so much more information. Right? And most flops that you're going to see come out, are going to be flops that both players miss. Like, when you have a hand, like king-queen, you're not a favorite to make a pair on the flop. Usually, you're going to flop not such a great hand. So what that means is, the player who wins the pot, is typically the one that's going to take the initiative, be more aggressive. And it's easier to do that in position because you get the information first of your opponent checking or betting before you. So being in position is simply just a position of like, you get to control the game a lot more easily than you can when you have to act without having any idea how your opponent feels about the flop, turn, or the river. There's two positions you can be in, in a pot. You're either in position, or you're out of position. When you're in position, that means you get to go last. When you're out of position, you know, you don't know what's going to happen behind you. You might get raised. You know, you might get bluffed. A whole bunch of bad things could happen. So think of it like-- imagine it was boxing, right-- so when you're out of position, you want to keep your guard up. Right? You want to be very defensive and you want to be careful, because you're at a disadvantage. Right? You can play possum sometimes with strong hands, as well, because you want to keep a balance. And then, you know, conversely, if you are the player in position, you want to be the one throwing the punches. Right? You want to be the aggressor. You're the one who has control of the situation. You're the one in position that's looking to maximize profit, whereas typically, your train of thought out of position is minimize and protect. When you're in early position, like, really the best defense against people that are overly aggressive is to fold more. OK. So that's just the way it is. Unfortunately, that is the number one best way to do that. Now, that's not to say, you know, when you get a really good hand, you're not going be able to profit, because you know that your opponent is supposed to...

Unlock winning strategies

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I would love to see a part 2, he is excellent at explaining the game and I'm sure he has new tips as he continues to grow his game.

Loved Negreanu's explanations in a fun informative manner. Highly recommended

Thank you Daniel for person, player, and teacher that you are.

GREAT class...nothing new here much--but the delivery and the perspective help a lot. I have tripled my win rate--and I'm a much better player after this class--and taking the advice to use on line tools and hand replays...plugged lots of leaks



This assumes you already know quite a bit about playing poker. It doesn't teach basic plays, rules, and hands. Probably quite valuable for some experienced people looking to improve but it's a misleading title for the class.

Mark L.

There is so much added value while being in position. The fact that you can just fold a 7/2 offsuit and take a moment to watch people as they bet [and see what they bet with if it goes to the River] is an advantage in and of itself.

Andrew B.

The heavy use of poker jargon is intimidating. There needs to be a more complete listing of terms and phrases.

A fellow student

I don't understand the chart showing ranged, does anybody knows how it works ?

Stephen K.

I have gone through blogs, subreddits, articles and a few books to try to learn about position and Daniel sums it all up in just a few minutes. I'm happy he's able to explain it simply and in basic terminology that's easy to follow. Range adjustment will probably be the the hardest thing to assess at the table but, as The White Death once said when asked how he got good at sniping, "Practice".

Pranav N.

Daniel is talking about very important strategies that I paid for - however, I can't pause the video without your stupid ads blocking me from seeing what he was referencing. So I snapshotted it... It amounts to piracy if I distribute my screenshots, but there's no good way to actually pause the video and see the screen, even though I've paid for the content. If you continue in this regard, it will be very difficult for me to gain value from the content I paid for .

A fellow student

am i the only to get trouble with lights on all the videos ? it's la up and down a tiny bit just to be a lot distractful :(


On the Position charts, it shows certain hand combinations with a small o next to them, what does that represent?

A fellow student

Lately, I am getting dynamite hands "all day long" and the flops are worthless. I have lost more money getting these great cards because of raising and people calling and then my flop goes South. Last week I had Ace/King 11 times and did not win once. We all say you have to get the cards to win, but I am now believing that you have to have the flops. How do I handle getting great cards with terrible flops?

A fellow student

[Spoiler Alert] One thought that I had for the scenario described in the quiz at the end, if it was early in the game, wouldn't it be better for the BIG BLIND to raise? Since it's early, the players have little information on one another, and each player would expect the other players to play *rationally*. If the SMALL BLIND and the BIG BLIND are playing *rationally* and call before the flop, then it is likely that one of them has an Ace. Since the third player is on the BUTTON, their options for opening are far wider than the two BLINDS. It is most likely that one of the two BLINDs has a stronger hand than the BUTTON. An Ace is revealed on the flop. Once the SMALL BLIND calls, the BIG BLIND should raise to bluff the BUTTON. The call from the SMALL BLIND combined with the raise of the BIG BLIND sends a strong signal that the BIG BLIND is sitting on a pair of Aces.