There are several different play styles you can utilise to play poker, but more often than not, seasoned and professional poker player’s adopt the ‘tight aggressive’ play style. This article will cover the basics needed to become a tight aggressive player, and will allow you to profit from poker tournaments, cash games and recreational poker.
1. Choose your starting hand. This is the ‘tight’ part of playing tight aggressive poker. You only want to be getting involved in hands when you have premium hole cards. If you are under the gun, or betting in early position in the pre-flop betting round, only play with pocket pairs or big aces. If you can limp in with suited connectors or small pairs then do so.
2. Always use the continuation bet. Once you have committed some chips pre flop, when the flop comes, if you the action is on you and no one has bet you need to try to take the pot. It doesn’t matter if you hit or not, there’s a chance you will win the pot purely from the continuation bet, otherwise you can establish if someone has a hand (if someone re-raises you, you can assume they are either hyper aggressive or they have hit big). If you always use this continuation bet then people will start to pay you off when you hit a monster hand, as they will think you are just making a bet with a trash hand.
3. Assess whether they hit the flop. If someone has made a big raise, the chances are they either have a big pair or a big ace. If the flop shows 3 unsuited low to middle cards then usually they would have missed the flop. They may well make a continuation bet (if they have Ace King they will always tend to bet the flop). If you are in this situation a re-raise will often lead to you winning the pot.
4. Know when to fold your hand. Tight aggressive doesn’t mean you keep re-raising someone. If you have a legitimate reason to believe they are winning, you need to ditch your hand. If you utilise the continuation bet you will normally realise early on if someone has connected with the flop or not.
5. Change hand strength with different opponents. If you are playing against someone who is really loose, and plays garbage hands, you can reduce the standard of hand that you play with, as it will probably still be better than his. Rather than going for high pocket pairs or big aces, you can go with medium pairs, medium acesor suited connectors.
These 5 tips will give you the tools to outplay beginner poker players, to play at an advanced level you must master each of these points. As with anything, practise will make you a better poker player, and using poker site’s play money poker or free roll tournaments, you can practise for free.