Holdem Middle Position

To play your holdem hand from a middle position, which we will address as fourth, fifth and sixth positions to the left of the big blind, is similar to play your hands from an early position. The major difference you can play a few more hands as your positional disadvantage is not so big.

This means that in an un-raised pot you can play all hands in Group 1-5 when the holdem game is tough. And in a loose, passive game it is okay to play the Group 6 holdem hands as well.
But if the holdem game is loose, aggressive, some of the bad hand like


should definitely be thrown away. You will find it difficult to "steal the blinds" as someone in a later position may hurriedly try to isolate you (make it three bets) if you come in with a raise.

Even if you are not the first one in, keep in mind the strength of your holdem rivals. Moreover, the weaker your rivals are, the more hands you can play. In other words, you should be ready to play average hands only against weaker players.

Small pairs and medium suited connectors should be played differently than you would play them in early position if you are first in and the game is loose. You can also enter the pot in an early position if the holdem game conditions are perfect. But if you are in a middle position and no one has voluntarily entered the pot means that it is not probable that you can get in a multi-way action that the poker hand requires.

For example, the holdem game is loose but not hyper aggressive and you hope good action on most flops. It would be correct to play

only if you are first one in from an holdem early position. However, if the first three or four players throw in this exact same game, you should throw this hand away. (Remember that we consider these players to have passed if they are away from the table as well as if they throw away their hand.) If you do play, further of not getting the multi-way action that you desire, you may find yourself isolated by the aggressive player. Unless now you flop a set you will be playing a weak poker hand out of position. This is true for a holdem hand like

The matter would change if there are already one or more players in and you can hope a multi-way pot. Here 22 or 87may become playable if the game conditions are prefect. (Note that the small pairs in games where there are lot of actions on the flop, while the connecting hands prefer more passive play.)

One more difference between texas early and middle position is that in middle position you fairly never call as the first one in with the large suited connectors, such as:

The main reason for this is that some of your rivals will figure to suspect you to trying to steal the blinds (with weak hands) when you raise after many players has passed. Therefore you can raise most of time when you have a good hand.

Hence, if you are first one in, raise with all holdem hands that are in Groups 1, 2 and 3. This is correct if there are callers to your right. However, when there are callers, do not always raise with the Group 3 hands. If you have Group 3 hand, consider how your rivals play and whether you want a lot of players or few players. If your rivals are strong, make sure to call; otherwise you can raise. When you prefer many rivals, such as with hands JT's as opposed to AQ, this is another time to merely call (when you are not first one in) with a Group 3 hand.

It can also be correct to raise with Group 4 hands like AJ or KQ. The time to do so is when you think it is likely that your raise will:
1. Knock out many (if not all) players behind you.
2. Keep the pot short-handed.

And none of the aggressive player has voluntarily entered the pot.
It also helps to have tight players in the poker blinds. If not, then it is best to only call with these poker hands. And if someone has limped in who is likely to hold a scary poker hand such as AA or AK's - you should in that case fold.

If the pot has been raised then almost always re-raise with AA, KK, QQ, aK's, and AK. Moreover, you can re-raise with other good hands such as


Keep in mind, these raises are made so you can change your play and knock some of your rivals out. However, frequent raising with these kinds of holdem hands would prove to be very expensive. Further, you should throw these hands away if the pot already has been raised.

If the raiser is a "loose raiser" you should follow the same tactics for texas early position play when considering re-raising with a hand like:

But if you are not sure of the correct poker strategy, then you should certainly throw away your poker hand without making any expensive mistakes.

One approach that begins to come into play in the middle positions is that you should almost always raise rather than call when:

1. None of the player has entered the pot.

2. You have the playable hand (especially Group 1-6).

3. You think there is a reasonable chance (perhaps less than 25 percent), that all players behind you (including the blinds) will fold.
However, if first or third is not met you should just call except with your best hands and actually fold some of the weaker hands (particularly Group 6) that you would have otherwise raised with.

Continue: First Two Cards: Holdem Late Position