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  • September 29, 2020

Poker strategy: Playing Aggressive Poker Players

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Being aggressive is more profitable, many players do not understand how to change gears and their aggressive poker play becomes predictable. If you are using your observational skills, this predictability will help you identify patterns and make smart decisions.
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While every player is different, there are three main types of aggressive poker players you will encounter.
The Tight-Aggressive (TAG)
The Loose-Aggressive (LAG)
The Loose Aggressive/Passive
The first step you need to take when playing against an aggressive player is to define their likely hand range. If your opponent is considered a tight-aggressive, just how tight is his range? Is your opponent a ‘nit’? This is the type of player that always has a big hand because they play such a narrow range of hands. Perhaps your opponent is what we might call a ‘standard tight-aggressive’ – someone who plays the top 10 to 15% of hands.
What if they are loose-aggressive? – the type that’s going to be playing a wide variety of hands and is capable of doing so from any position. A typical loose-aggressive player will often bet on most flops and bluff a high percentage of the time. However, there’s a wide spectrum of loose-aggressive players. It’s not just about the hand ranges a player plays, but how aggressive they play their hands. How far will your opponent be prepared to go to move you off your hand?
It’s important that you know the difference between someone playing aggressively with value hands and someone playing aggressively with bluffing hands. There’s a big difference between someone who raises pre-flop from late position and continuation bets 100% of the time, but then gives up on the turn and someone who’s capable of triple barrelling as a bluff all the way down to the river with complete air.
As far as pre-flop action is concerned, poker players are 3-betting far more frequently these days. Yet there’s a big difference between someone who is capable of 3-betting light than with someone who will 4-bet light or even 5-bet light. You really need to observe the tendencies of your opponents and understand just how far they will go to take you off a hand.
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Here are some basic types of aggression you might see from different players.
Pot Stabbers
They are aggressive, but they are also somewhat passive – in that they’ll take one stab at the pot, then they’re going to give up. They might continuation bet 100% of the time, but only bet the turn when they actually have a hand. These are definitely people you want to get into pots with and play position against them. It’s highly profitable and you should be able to take pots away from them.
Solid Players
Solid players know when to apply pressure and they know when to put on the brakes. They are generally winning poker players and they are the type you don’t want to play against. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid playing pots with them, but if you’re in a marginal spot then you don’t necessarily have to test yourself. Look for a spot that’s going to be more profitable.
Lagtard / Spewtard / Spew Monkey, etc
There are a number of names for this type of poker player. They are the ones that take aggression to a completely different level. They’re not necessarily bad players, but they can get drunk with power. They will constantly try and put you to the test. They can build big stacks against people who play scared. However, if you can find a hand or have a really good read on them, you can make a lot of money too. There are many times when these players just don’t know when to put on the brakes and quit.
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