In this guide we will learn:
Where is the Hijack in Poker?
The hijack is the second seat to the right of the button. The order of the seats is hence button, then cutoff, then hijack. The hijack is sometimes referred to as ‘middle position’ in a 6-handed game.
How Should We Play in the Hijack?
The Hijack is not considered one of the good stealing seats like the button and cutoff. The hijack should hence primarily enter the pot with a strong range of hands. Having said this, the cutoff may occasionally get opportunities to play a wider range of holdings, especially if the button and cutoff are relatively tight and willing to fold a lot against hijack open-raises.
Why is it Called the Hijack Position?
The hijack is so named because it can hijack the stealing opportunity of the button and cutoff by open-raising first. The button and cutoff may then be forced to fold some of the hands that they were planning to steal with. This is especially the case if the button and cutoff are relatively tight players and will happily fold, giving the hijack access to in-position play against the blinds.
Can we Steal in the Hijack?
We may occasionally be able to open-raise wider from the hijack, especially if the button and cutoff are folding a lot preflop. However, most of the time we should be entering the pot with a tight range while in the hijack. Attempting to play overly loose in the hijack will result in problems since button and cutoff can use their positional advantage to counter overly wide hijack opens.
How Should We Play Against Hijack Opens?
We should generally treat opens from the hijack with more respect than an open from the button or cutoff. The average open-raise on the button consists of over 40% of holdings while the average hijack open-raise only consists of 18% of all possible hands.
How Wide Should We Open-Raise from the Hijack?
Good players typically open the top 18% of holdings from the hijack. It may be possible to open-raise wider than this if the button/cutoff are overly tight or there are weaker players in the blinds.
For the most part we are looking to play tight strategies from the hijack. We may occasionally get opportunities to play a slightly wider range of holdings but it’s important not to overdo it. Playing too many hands in the hijack is a good recipe for losing chips overall. For a more detailed discussion on playing in the hijack, check out this strategy article.