Why Is It Better to Act Last in Texas Hold Em Poker?
Pages such as "Posted a Big Blind in Texas Hold Em Poker? May as Well Stay!" talk about how the two players to the left of the nominated dealer in a game of Texas Hold Em poker will be required to post the small blind and the big blind into the pot on the first round of betting.
After this the action moves clockwise around the table to each person's left, where they can call, raise, re-raise or fold according to what has preceded them. Only when everybody still contesting the pot (i.e. everyone apart from all of those who have already folded) have put in the same amount of money in that round will the flop be dealt.
The Nominated Dealer Will Be The Last to Act
This means that the person who is the nominated dealer for that particular round will actually be the last person at the table to make a decision about what to do, although the action may continue on if somebody raised before it got to them. As a result, they have the advantage of being able to see how everybody else acted in terms of betting. For example did they appear to only call reluctantly, could they not get their chips down onto the table to raise fast enough etc? Although it could be a cunning ploy to try and bluff their way to the pot, seeing how an opponent has acted can be advantageous and decide a player's next course of action.
Acting Last is a Big Advantage for Betting
In later betting rounds, if a player only has an average hand and everyone else has checked, then they can bet to try and bluff their opponents into thinking that they now have a strong hand. Alternatively if one or more players have raised, the player can then make the decision that the amount of real money required to call the bet required for this particular round is simply too expensive based on the strength of their hand and so they can fold without having to waste anymore money on it. This is in contrast to a player who is one of the first to act in the round who may have called a small amount with an average or weak hand only to find that players after them have raised and they now have to contribute even more money to the pot in order to stay alive in the round.
It is always better to act late in a Texas Holdem round of betting, which is why the dealer button moves round after every hand to ensure that every player has their fair share of being the first, middle and last to act.