Examples of Good Out of Position Play

Remember that, when playing out of position, all of our edge comes from playing the player. Based upon tendencies that we’ve discovered in our opponent, it follows that, all things being equal, we should be attacking when we have a statistical advantage to do so, both out of position as well as in position. The task becomes to try to work out what effect positional disadvantages have on our ability to attack and steal pots.

Let us first consider the example of our being out of position on the flop, ready to decide under what circumstances we may want to lead out. The first potential obstacle is the risk of giving out too much information by leading out with our good hands, where our opponent may simply fold weaker hands than the range we’re representing and then play back at us with better hands. This is one of the pitfalls of being out of position, and if we’re going to be attacking here we need to look to balance our range so that we’re not so easily exploited.

In order to pull this off successfully we’re going to need to add enough bluffs to achieve the proper balance, which will require enough fold equity in order to pull this off successfully. As it turns out the whole point of taking the initiative is to provide us with situations where we can take advantage of both fold equity and value, so this is in line with our strategy. Now the fold equity we seek here need not consist of an immediate fold; we need to look further into our opponents’ tendencies to look to discover other opportunities that may exist later in the betting where we can get him off hands.

In the right conditions, what we accomplish when we take the initiative is to put pressure on our opponents and cause them to respond to it with the correct decisions or else be exploited. Poker is a game of avoiding doing something too often or not often enough. We are looking to lead out with the optimal frequency, and when we do, the ball is now in their court, and they are tasked with adapting their strategy to mirror the correct folding, calling, and raising frequencies.

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