Tight Aggressive Texas Hold'em
Your playing style and approach to the game is going to play an important role in determining whether you are a winning or a losing poker player.
One of the most popular playing styles amongst winning poker players is the tight-aggressive style of play, which is well worth taking your time to learn and perfect if you want to consistently win money from the game.
What is a tight aggressive playing style?
Tight aggressive simply describes the number of hands you play and how you play them.
The first word 'tight' highlights that you play a limited number of hands, and so you are selective about which hands you play. The second word 'aggressive' describes how you play them, which is quite self explanatory; instead of checking and calling, you take an aggressive approach by betting and raising during the hands you play.
Other poker playing styles.
There are 4 main playing styles in poker, with tight aggressive being the style of choice for many experienced players.
- Tight Aggressive
- Loose Aggressive
- Tight Passive
- Loose Passive
You should be able to work out what each style means, but just to clarify... 'Loose' means that you play lots of hands and 'Passive' means that you are more inclined to check and call rather than bet and raise.
Both of the aggressive styles of play can be played profitably, whereas the passive styles are going to lose you money. The loose-aggressive style of play can make you money, but it is very tricky to get the hang of unless you are a very experienced player. So for the purpose of this article and to teach you how to win money as effectively as possible, we are going to focus on our good friend, the tight aggressive style of play.
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How to play tight aggressive poker.
Playing tight aggressive poker is all about taking the bull by the horns and not relying on your opponents to make the moves. In a nutshell, if you feel that you have the best hand, then you should be the one betting and raising, rather than waiting for your opponents to bet out and calling them down.
The biggest problem with not betting and playing passively is that you are always giving your opponents the opportunity to see more cards and make a better hand than you. However, if you feel that you have the best hand on the flop or turn (and even before the flop), you want to bet (or raise) to make sure that your opponent has to pay to try and improve their hand.
If you always force your opponents to pay to improve their hand, you will be winning money in the long run.
Being a tight aggressive player does not mean that you play like a maniac by betting and raising at every opportunity, it simply means that you pick your spots carefully and you put your opponents to tough decisions. Don't forget that folding is still a perfectly viable option as a tight aggressive player. If you come up against a lot of resistance and you believe that your opponent has you beat, then don't feel bad about letting the hand go!
Know your limits when playing aggressive poker. Knowing when to slow down and let the hand go is going to be vital to your success.
Remember that there are two ways to win a hand in poker; you can either show down the best hand or you can force your opponent to fold. If you play passively and do not bet or raise, you are completely cutting off one of your methods to win a hand, so make sure you always have that particular option available to you by adopting an aggressive style of play.
Don't be afraid to bet.
Many of you may well be thinking that if you have the best hand on the flop or turn, it does not guarantee that you will have the best hand at the river. So wouldn't it be better to play passively until you are confident that you definitely have the best hand, and bet then?
If you have the best hand and have the best chance of winning, you want to get as much money into the pot as possible. That's how you maximize your winnings.
There will be times when you get outdrawn when you are ahead and you lose more money than if you has played passively, but that is all part of poker. It is important to get your money in the middle when you have the best of it, because that is how you win money from the game.
If you are too afraid to lose money even when you hold the best hand, then you should either move down a few levels or forget about trying to win money from poker. Sometimes you will win money and sometimes you will lose, that's just how poker works. However, the key is to win more money than you lose so that you come out on top at the end of the day... you do this by playing strong, aggressive poker with good betting strategy.
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Tight aggressive overview.
So there we have it, that's pretty much the groundwork for a good tight aggressive playing style - hopefully it was a bit of an eye-opener for you.
Not only is it going to help you win money, but it is best to try and adopt a tight aggressive style of play as early as possible so that you can tweak and refine it as you go along. Becoming a successful poker player is all about practicing and finding out what works and what doesn't, so make sure you spend a good amount of time at those tables!
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