The aggressive vs. defensive strategy
Aggression is a beneficial strategy that all new players should acquire as part of the poker basics. That is why beginner poker guides will often tell you to “bet if they check” on the flop, just to get you ready. At most preflops, players are not dealt paired cards. Usually, pocket pairs will appear after a number of hands, meaning that making a pair even on the flop is worse. If your opponent has checked on the flop and has yet to make a pair or better, it’s advisable to be aggressive rather than passive. At this stage, you’re more likely to win if you bet.
On the other hand, a defensive strategy means taking passive rather than aggressive action. This usually means checking instead of betting and calling instead of raising. This strategy protects your money rather than boosting the overall size of the pot. Defensive strategies are mainly popular in online poker tournaments and are often referred to as “pot control” because the aim is to protect stacks.
Don’t make this mistake when playing poker
A common mistake new players make at poker tables is to play too defensively, even when they have a strong hand. Both strategies have their benefits, but if you’re still trying to discover your own style, best play with some combination of the two. Choose your bet depending on your hand, the bet size, the stage of the game and your opponent’s style of playing. One of the most important poker tournament tips to remember is that no strategy is flawless or risk-free.
How to beat an aggressive strategy in poker
Before you sit down at the poker table with an aggressive player, there are many factors to consider. This is especially true if you are a player who wants to improve your defensive playing style to counteract more aggressive styles.
Here are some of the ways in which you can attempt to beat aggressive players in poker online.
Slowplay against aggressive players
Between loose and aggressive players, slowplaying is a good thing. As aggressive players play too many hands and will bet too much, you want them to think that you have a strong hand. However, it is also important to remember that aggressive players are often excellent hand readers. For instance, if a LAG sees you call twice on a straight or flush, it tells them that you likely do not have a strong hand (like a perfect pair, for instance) – because if that had been the case, you would have raised earlier.
Slowplay and four-bet before the flop
As you now know, LAGs will bet with a wide range. To beat this, you will need to slowplay preflop and introduce preflop four-bet bluffing. Slowplay a hand such as king–king or ace–ace before the flop and the opponent will be less likely to have a strong hand, given the wide range. It becomes very profitable to slowplay your strong hand. Moreover, it works to your advantage to have opponents folding whatever hand they three-bet with if you four-bet as a bluff.
To defeat a LAG, you can look for spots when your range will be seen as strong, even though it may be weak. Then, add some bluffs. For instance, you can bluff by raising with much weaker hands on spots when there are only strong hands or draws. This will allow you to combat your opponents’ aggression in spots when your range is relatively strong.
More so, bluff raising also gives you some equity and could make your play much more profitable. However, it is advisable to sometimes follow up with multiple barrels if your raise gets called on the flop.
Pretend that you have a weak hand with passive play
When you are playing against an aggressive poker player and have the nuts, it can be a good idea to let the aggressive player dig themselves into a hole. Either bet small or check to trick the aggressive player into thinking you are playing conservatively because you have a weak hand. If you are lucky, you may be able to fool them into going all in, allowing you to match their bet and take them to the cleaners.
Factors to consider with online poker strategies
Regardless of whether you intend on playing poker with friends or you’re preparing for a poker tournament, these simple strategy tips may prove useful.
One of the most important factors to consider is the bet size, as it impacts the odds of the pot and the range your opponent represents. You will need to adjust accordingly.
Being able to read your opponent’s behavior is crucial, especially if they have extreme tendencies. This will make it possible for you to predict their behavior.
If the board is good for your opponent’s range, it is advisable to raise often. You can do the opposite if the board is good for your own range.
How to play poker online
Playing poker at a land-based casino has its benefits. You can turn it into a great casino date night and explore the many other forms of entertainment and fine dining available at MGM resorts. But poker is a game of skill that improves with practice and study. You can’t always visit a casino to practice and try out your strategies and tricks. This is where BetMGM comes in.
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