What is a ‘Steal Position’?
In poker, the ‘steal position’ is a term applied to the last seats at the table – the ones which act last in a round, and therefore create opportunities to ‘steal’ for the player. A poker player can ‘steal’ the pot, or indeed the game, by raising in the hope of scaring off other players and winning the pot for themselves.
‘Steal Position’ Explained
If a poker player is said to ‘steal’ the pot, they do so by raising an average or weak hand and therefore intimidating other players into folding their better hands, so that there is no showdown for the prize. This is a common bluffing technique which is usually only applied when a player is able to, through the advantages afforded to them by their ‘position’.
Position means where the player is sat at the table in relation to others. The most desirable seats are the ones that act last, as they come with the advantage of seeing how other players are acting before making a decision. Early turns have to act based on their own hand, as they have not yet seen what the rest of the table will do. These late positions give the player an opportunity to ‘steal’ the pot, and therefore the last and second last seats are often known as the ‘steal positions’.
Because seating is so important to poker strategy, players in casino games usually cannot choose these steal positions outright. Instead, there is usually a single card draw for seats, with high cards determining the best seats. This is common in tournaments and contests. During the course of a more casual game, dealer buttons and blind positions pass round the table with every hand, so all of the players get a chance to occupy every seat.