Poker Playing Styles (Part II)
Tight-passive players are not a worry at all. They are rather easy to beat. How? Well, if they raise or bet, simply get out of there. The best way to isolate and take these players out, see a flop for cheap and try to hit a strong hand - trips, straight, flush, etc. However, don't take them too easy a target. Tight-passive players generally tend to "survive" in the game for a rather long time, as they hardly risk too many chips. But, hey, don't worry. They will "Blind Out".
Attention! Now, we are talking about the best player for No-Limit Texas Holdem. Yes, tight-aggressive players are the "stars" of the game. What have they got that others don't?
Well, one of the admirable qualities of tight-aggressive players is their preflop hand selection. Most often, they either bet, raise or fold before the flop (calling is rare, but good for trapping maniacs or very tight players). And once the flop comes, they throw aggressive bets, if they have a hand or if they have raised before a flop.
he most effective playing strategy for poker is tight-aggressive.
Tight-aggressive players get the "thumbs up" because they don't just risk chips once they get hold of a good hand, but they risk chips in heaps. Thus, they only have to get a couple of wins to grab a mountain-sized stack. Every professional poker player in the world all possess the tight-aggressive style. Such player is also known as "selectively aggressive" or "aggressively smart" player.
Now, as just as every coin has two sides, a tight-aggressive playing style has its own pitfalls. One of the major ones is that such a player is easily predictable. People can make out what you are going to do next. Hence, tight-aggressive players usually build a stereotype image for themselves at the table. And this makes your opponents shrewd enough to not give you a chance to use your big hands.
How to overcome this pitfall?
The best way is to deliberately build a free or maniac image at the table. How? Well, at times during the game, choose to
play like the "maniac!"
For example, once in a while, especially around the starting of the game, throw a bluff. Apply this strategy when you feel
"weakness" but have good positioning.
Suppose you pick 8-7 clubs on the button and, at that time-three players limp-in. Now, you raise 7x the big blind.
Everyone else folds. This is the time to flip over convincing everyone that you KNOW somebody has got a hold of your eight high beat. This strategy, which depends on the table, is quite effective to give you enough action to use your big hands later in the game. So, the next time when you choose K-K on the button, as the game proceeds, and apply the same strategy of raising the 7x the big blind pre-flop, you are sure to get a caller or two.
Do you know what the biggest advantage of tight-aggressive style is? Your opponents can rarely make out the difference between loose and aggressive. "Loose" refers to the hands that you play and "aggressive" refers to the style of betting; so, if you raise aggressively by using strong hands and mix up with a bluff at the right time, you will tumble your opponents like a pack of cards and stun them at every step that you take.
Now, here is a word of caution: do not stick to a particular style of playing throughout the game. A maniac should not always be a maniac; it helps if he or she tries the hand out in being a tight-aggressive and astound everyone.
In other words, you should "change gears" at the right time and on an odd occasion play a mediocre hand (small suited
connectors, Ax suited, etc) so that you are not predictable. You should seldomly change gears, mix strategies, and execute moves that would trick your opponents and throw them off the track.
Once you're comfortable with seldomly loosening up showing your opponents you can change gears, you can consistent winner at Texas Holdem poker!