Playing Aggressive Poker

Most poker players will tell you that the best strategy for winning at poker for the most part is to play tight and aggressive. This means you want to play a narrow range of hands and play them aggressively for value.

Although you typically will always want to play a tightish range or hands that have potential to make big hands even when you’re playing fairly tight, you will not always have a good hand on the flop, as unpaired hands will make a pair only around one third of the time.
The aggressive part of the equation is determined by your opponent’s level of aggression. The most important part of any decision is what will extract the most after the flop. Good players know that they must adjust their playing style to the game and the other players at the table.

At a table with other aggressive players it would be a good idea to tighten up and allow them to think they can bully you. Then it will only be a matter of time before you can use his/her aggression against them by calling with your premium hands allowing them to bet and bluff off their entire stack as they can’t help themselves.

On the other hand when in a game that consists of mainly loose passive players, which is often the case when playing in your typical $1/$2 live cash game, you can take the blinds when they have shown to offer little resistance when you’re on the button and then when another player calls your bets after the flop you know they have something that they will want to continue with after the flop so you can shut down the times you were trying to steal the pot on the flop.

The value of your fold equity changes with the number of players. If you’re involved in a hand with 6 players it is likely that the flop will connect hard with at least 1 player so if you have nothing or a weak hand and no chance to form a good hand you should just fold even if you were the preflop raiser since the likelihood that you are going to win is small.

But when playing heads up a middle pair is a good hand and you should bet on it because the other player will probably have nothing but maybe a high card and will have to either make a mistake by calling to try and catch one of their high cards or fold. The best thing about short-handed play is most hands will be heads up after the flop so you will have the advantage of continuing the aggression.

The cards you are dealt are not everything, you don’t need to have the best hand to win. Something like over 75% of hands not actually going to a showdown in online poker. Adjusting your online game to the types of opponents you’re playing against will give you a big advantage over the other players.

Some players will fold too frequently preflop and never defend their blinds and other players may be a bit looser before flop but play fit or fold post flop. A tight aggressive style of play is the best strategy but how tight and how aggressive is always relative to the particular table that you are at the time.