Aggression is an essential tool when playing poker games like Texas Hold’em poker. It comes in handy when players have strong starting hands, i.e., a hand that is likely to win a flush or straight. Aggressive play is, however, different from loose play. Usually, loose play occurs when a player engages in passive game, leading to a calling station, and aggressive play happens when tight players make raises and open frequently. Players should observe the general tendencies of their opponents to determine their playing style if they intend to win the game. There are four common playing styles for Texas Hold’em poker game. These are tight aggressive, loose passive, tight passive and loose aggressive play.
How to Determine the Player’s Playing Style
The first determining factor is the player’s starting hand selection. Usually, tight poker players prefer a small number of the best hands and loose poker players play many hands. A player’s ability to manage risk also shows his aggression. Aggressive poker players make more raises than calls while passive players are risk averse and tend to avoid confrontation. If your opponents fold most of their hands, they are tight players and if they make more bets and raises they are aggressive.
Tight vs Loose Poker: What it Means
There are two playing styles for this poker game- the tight-aggressive and loose aggressive playing styles. Aggressive styles are the most effective for Texas Hold’em poker game because each time the player enters a hand, he is required to be aggressive. A loose passive or tight passive style is deemed incorrect. Players using a tight-aggressive style will play off a few pots and keep the antes and the blinds, so they are not blinded. Also, a player using this strategy should avoid all-in confrontations unless he has a hand that is almost winning. Usually, losing an all-in fight causes players to be kicked out of the tournament. That’s why it is essential to play small pots, and you only get to lose a few chips per hand.
The main benefit of using a tight-aggressive playing style is that you get to play high-quality hands than the regular player. As a result, taking a post-flop strategy will not be difficult. For example, if the player hits a flop during play, it is easy for him to have the best hand, and if he misses it, he can let it go without making significant losses.
When to be Tight-aggressive
If the Blinds are higher than the Chips
When the blinds are higher than the player’s stack of chips, that player should be tight-aggressive. However, when 4-5 people are playing a small table and the blinds are going much faster, the player should adopt a loose-aggressive play to avoid losing his chips to the blinds.
When the Tournament Kicks off
When starting a tournament, the antes and blinds are low hence, a tight-aggressive playing style is more effective. At this stage of the game, players have ample time to wait for the right hand.
When Playing Cash Games
In this case, the player is required to bet on real cash, not tournament chips. A tight-aggressive playing style makes more sense as blinds never increase as in tournaments.
If you are a Beginner
A tight-aggressive playing is better for beginners as it keeps them out of trouble. This is because every pot the beginner enters can quickly consume all his chips. A tight-aggressive play allows him to release a few chips at a time while waiting for the best hand.
The Loose-Aggressive Playing Style
In this case, the player plays more hands from different positions. As such, this playing style requires a large stack of chips than that used by tight-aggressive players. The large pile helps the player play many hands and discourage his opponents from playing against him. A loose-aggressive style is ideal for the aggressive player as he gets to play many pots and enjoy lots of action. Also, he can easily pull off a bluff using a horrible hand, which gives him more confidence especially if he wants to learn how to manage risks in poker. It can be challenging to determine the player’s stand as he plays many hands and raises most of them. Additionally, it is difficult for an opponent to decide whether a flop works in the loose player’s advantage or not.
Both styles come in handy whether you are playing online poker or land-based Texas Hold’em poker. The secret is in knowing when to use or switch from one method to another. For example, when opponents have nailed the player, he should change the style.