### Lesson 10 – Playing From Middle Position

Home Poker School Lesson 10 – Playing From Middle Position

As we get further away from the “button”, the number of hands that can be profitably played decreases. My definition for “Middle Position” (MP) is the two or three (assuming a 9- or 10-player table, respectively) players who act before the two LP players. In the numbering scheme I’m using, where the Button is 0, the MP players are numbers 3 to 5; thus Late Position player # 2, the Cutoff (# 1) and the Button act after them; plus the Blinds, of course, in the pre-flop betting. Because of the possibility or even likelihood of being raised by these “late” players, the minimum starting hands of Middle Position players must be fairly high. That begs the question: Should the hands for player # 5 be stronger than those of # 3? In a perfect world, the answer is “yes”, but the average poker table is not a perfect world. Because some of the MP players are likely to fold, the starting hands I give you will serve well for the range of positions covered by the designation “MP”, but if the player to your left (who acts after you) is inclined to raise a lot of hands, I’d definitely tighten up my starting requirements. And I’d probably do it by playing only with the EP opening hands, which will be covered in the next lesson.

Before I present the MP minimum starting hands chart, let me add my usual comments about how this will fit into the “Hold ’em Poker Basic Strategy Matrix” we’re building here. Like all of the other sections of the matrix, this one will show you which hands you can raise or reraise with, which hands can call raises and which hands should call unraised pots only. Again, I want to stress that this listing of minimum hands is based upon simulation, which in poker is not an exact science. Also, these recommendations assume a limit Hold ’em game at a table with 9 or 10 players and if you use them, you’ll come across as a somewhat “tight” player simply because you won’t be playing a lot of hands. However, this chart does have some flexibility that I explained in the previous lesson, so I won’t bore you with that here. As I also said in Lesson 9, the # 3 player could almost be considered as a Late Position player, but I’m going to err on the side of conservatism; you might decide differently, which is fine.
Okay, here’s the chart for Middle Position play:

Minimum Hands for Limit Hold ’em Poker, “Middle Position”
Re-raise/ Raise Call one raise Call only
A-A, A-Ko/A-Qs A-Js A-10s
—-/K-K K-Js K-Jo
—-/Q-Q Q-Js Q-Jo
—-/J-J —- J-10s