Friday, February 29, 2008

It’s Time To Play Aggressive Poker

Most poker experts agree with us when we say that being aggressive is the way to go when trying to win a hand. You can see this aggressive attitude in the professional poker players during the top competitions. It is very rare that you will see a passive poker professional who will actually win.

Now this doesn’t mean that you always have to play aggressively. There is a time to be passive and a time to be aggressive and understanding when to turn it on and off is very important. The trick to being aggressive is to make everyone else at the table feel uneasy as they watch you betting and raising on certain hands. Usually they would be expecting people to be checking or calling because that would make it easy on everyone especially you. That is why when to bet or raise you are throwing them off guard and possibly slip up.

Remember that when you bet and raise you are taking control of the hand and forcing the other players to either check or fold. That is what being aggressive is all about. Taking control and taking advantage of any open opportunity that will increase your money.

Of course there can be disadvantages to playing aggressive. After a few hands of playing this strategy the other players (if they are observant) will begin to take notice and will catch on to what you are doing. You can always bet that someone will sit up and take notice when someone is starting to raise them especially if it is a common occurrence. When this starts to happen they other players will most likely try to trap you by checkraising you when they have a really good hand. Other times they will just call assuming that you will raise again – which if you really want to play aggressively you will. Remember that you want to choose when to be aggressive and when to be passive.

Playing aggressively is a very bold strategy and should only be used if you have practiced and know exactly what you are doing. When you do not play this strategy right you will end up with ‘reverse implied odds’. This means that you will not make any money when you have a hand that can cause you to win the round. Because of this you will also notice that you will pay out more money to your opponents when they have a good hand and win.

Whichever strategy you decide (passive or aggressive) is up to you. There is always a trick to both and it is important to know and practice the proper and most effective way of playing.

Things to remember:

- To be aggressive you need to raise, bet, and checkraise when people would least expect it.

- Don’t always bet and raise when you feel like it. Doing this will cause ‘reverse implied odds’ and will make you lose money in the long run.

- Don’t get ‘revenge’ on people who have noticed your strategy and are trying to trap you. Keep your mind on the game and take notice of what their strategy is so you can trap them instead.


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Blackpool Club Poker Player said...

I don't quite agree with your stance on aggressiveness. First of all, being aggressive is also a matter of timing. Whether you have the proper position, the chips to back up your bet, or the confidence that you can actually frighten off the other players.

If a player were to follow your guidelines, which were vague at best, I doubt they would be respected at the table and would soon find themselves either short-stacked or out of the game.