If you ever find yourself playing the overly aggressive poker player then read on. Aggressors don’t understand their hand value and they don’t consider yours. They hardly glance at the board but instead will bet like lunatics at every given opportunity. And it’s all done in a bid to get their opponents off the hand and steal the blinds.
Have you ever played in games where another player makes ridiculous pre-flop raises at every given opportunity? Occasionally these are ‘Fish’ who think a K J is the key to the kingdom. More often then not it’s the trademark of an ‘Aggressor’. They are known in the industry as ‘LAGs’. That stands for Loose Aggressive Gamblers.
Aggressive poker players will often bet and raise very bad hands to the river. In doing so they will bluff a lot of us off the hand which gets very frustrating. Especially when the Aggressor’s chips start piling up.
Unfortunately, they are often the big pot winners in poker. Often it is very difficult to beat them so the idea is to minimise their impact on you and your stack. This is particularly true if they are sitting to the left of you at the table. That is because they will always see your move first. And they can use that to constantly raise and bet big, essentially forcing you out of the hand.
Combatting Aggressive Poker Players
But don’t panic just yet. Aggressors make mistakes too so to beat them at their own game look you have to look out for a few things. They have terrible betting reflexes so if you check they will bet and frequently raise with poor hands. If you spot this you can re-raise with a better hand and take the pot.
Tighten Up Your Play
This isn’t ideal when you want to play a solid game of poker. But if you play loose or with a relatively poor hand, they will try to bet you off the table. And you simply won’t have a hand good enough to stop them.
Re-Raise And Bluff
If you have established a tight playing strategy, it allows you to occasionally bluff. This works as the aggressor will think you have a good hand because you play so few of them. It tells your opponent that you won’t be pushed around. It will also force him to re-think the hand if he is holding nothing.
Mix Up Your Play
Occasionally, when you have a really good hand, simply check the play. Trap your opponent into thinking you don’t have much and then when the flop, turn or river go your way, make a significant bet. The mixture of checking on the flop and then raising big will confuse them. Again, use this tactic sparingly. If you do it all the time, the other players will see through you.
Aggressors are often just crazy gamblers who are only interested in the big pots. Most of us are happy to sit back and take frequent small wins by playing poker properly. Aggressors are not content with that and make sure that any pot they are in is a large one.
A lot of aggressive poker players believe that it is a game of luck. And they do not rate the skill required to be a master at the game. Use this to your advantage – in the short term they may win but over the long term, slow and steady will win the race and so will you!
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