How to Play Against Aggressive Players

More and more often nowadays when you are playing at an online poker table, players have the tendency to adopt a much more loose-aggressive playing style. After watching the WSOP Main Event on ESPN and seeing maniacs like Tom Dwan playing high stakes cash games on Youtube, some players naturally get attracted to this loose and aggressive style of play.

This leads to lots of amateur players trying to imitate the pros they watched and it raises the question. How to behave in the face of such a situation to exploit these player’s aggressive tendencies?

If you don’t have any experience playing against aggressive opponents, it is easy to become uncomfortable and just want to leave the game. But if you were to quit every time you experienced a bit of adversity, well then you are not going to grow as a poker player.

By learning how to deal with these types of players, you’ll be more comfortable at pretty much every online poker table you sit down at. Instead of feeling like you’re the target at the table, you will think to yourself, how am I going to take this LAGs money, because you know they can’t help but be aggressive and take control of the table.

So, in order to beat them, you need to counter this by having patience, patience, and did I say patience? It’s highly recommend that you do NOT implement the same style of play of your opponents. Don’t become impatient to win a hand, succeeding in poker is not about winning the most pots, it’s about winning the most amount of money. Don’t tell this to the loose-aggressive players you play against, though! Tapping the glass, and all that!

Texas hold’em is a game of patience and picking the right spots to be more aggressive when you can use your tight image to get other players to fold a better hand. Lacking patience when playing against loose aggressive opponents will inevitably lead to making costly mistakes, which you can easily avoid if you just exercise some self discipline. If you don’t have patience and you want to win every hand of poker you play, this game just isn’t for you. By adopting such a strategy, chances are you will go broke very quickly.

Instead, you should allow the aggressive opponents at the table to play every hand. Some players just can’t help themselves and will play in a maniacal manner as they desperately want to be the table captain. You will see them playing lots of hands firing a lot of flops, turns, and rivers, and raising other players.

When this happens at your online poker table, you can set a trap, and these players will be none the wiser and will run straight into it, donating their entire stack in the process. Before you know it, you will have some good cards in your hand that you know are the nuts against this type of player.

Due to the aggressive nature of your opponents, you know they will more then likely do the betting for you, so you don’t have to worry about missing value if you are first to act and check. If you bet, they likely have nothing and will just fold, but if you can feign weakness, you can trick the aggressive opponent into thinking they can steal the pot away from you.

During the early stages of a deep stacked cash game, simply observe the other players at your table. Instead of getting caught up in big confrontations when you don’t know a great deal of information about the other players. A much better strategy is to focus on profiling your opponents and identifying who the loose aggressive players are as soon as possible, as these are the players that can give you trouble and put you in tough spots with marginal holdings.

It is important not to be influenced by the other players when you seem to be card dead for a while. Stick to a winning strategy that you know works. Let the aggressive players play lots of hands and bully the table. Even if you lose a few small pots due to their aggressive play, by staying patient you can work yourself into the game, and before you know it, the table bully will make a misstep and you will profit off their mistake.

Successfully trapping loose aggressive opponents takes some skill, however. If it’s not done correctly, you might end up losing a lot of value by betting small and not having them go over the top or checking to induce a bluff from an aggressive player but having them check back a hand that would have called.

Knowing your opponents isn’t the only consideration either. Choosing the right board textures to set traps on is another very important consideration, because if your hand is vulnerable, you can end up allowing your opponent to catch up, which would be a very costly mistake.