You will notice that there is no distinction between which poker game you play.
If you have ever played poker you have come across aggressive and hyper aggressive players. The hyper aggressive players are the players who will push hard with nothing on a regular basis to sweep the blinds and force you off the hand. Aggression is an important element for any player to have. There is a distinct difference though between the aggressive and the hyper aggressive player.
The hyper aggressive player is actually the easiest to beat and particularly in the German casinos and pokers. If you have watched poker on television you will often hear the pros speak of “well-timed” aggression. Many players haven’t figured out the “well-timed” part. They believe that the more force they push with the better.
Poker is a game of odds. That being said no one has the best hand every time the cards are dealt. If you are at a table with a hyper aggressive player they will raise every hand to try to push you out. Patience is the key. Wait. Just wait. When you get the nuts, don’t push. Hyper aggressive players like to do the pushing. If you push them they often run away. Whether playing online or at a table you need to pause. Let them think you are struggling with the call. Then just call. They will push harder in the next round of betting to try to get you off the hand. With each round of betting make it look like you are really struggling even harder with the call. They will hand you their chips.
What about the aggressive player
They aren’t so easy to beat. Especially if they are using “well timed” aggression. This is a skilled player. Study when they bet and the patterns of their betting. The best way to beat a player with “well-timed” aggression is to be a player who uses your own “well-timed” aggression. Even when you push, don’t push too hard when you have the nuts. The idea is to keep others in the pot and milk them of their chips. If you push too hard they will simply fold.
Push when the odds are in your favor. Count your outs. If you have a dozen outs push. If you have three, don’t be foolish. The other players are looking for the foolish bettor in order to gain chips.
It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone makes mistakes at the table. Watch for them. Even a skilled player can be tripped up.
Using Position in Poker Successfully
If you talk to any professional poker player about how to be successful, they will most likely tell you to use position to your advantage. Being aggressive while in position gives you the opportunity to accumulate chips with hands that most likely will not win in a showdown.
What is Position
In poker games like Texas Hold ‘em, there is a rotating dealer button. If you are the dealer, you will have position on every one at the table since you will be the last to act after the flop. Being one or two spots to the right of the dealer is considered late position and raising from those spots could put you in position for the rest of the hand.
You can also have position on people. If you are seated to someone’s left, you have position on them and will usually act after they do. In an ideal world, you want to sit to the left of hyper aggressive players and to the right of tight players.
Position Example #1
Let’s look at an example of how to use position. Let’s say you are seated to the left of the big blind. You are in early position and pick up K-Q. Now if there were six folds in front of you and you saw this hand, you could raise. However, with eight more players to act behind you, K-Q is not a very strong hand.
However, let’s pretend you raise and the player on the button (the player with the dealer button) calls. If the flop is A-Q-4, you could have the best hand, or you could be way behind if the button has an ace.
You are forced to act first and bet with your queens but the button raises. Now what do you do? The button could have sensed weakness from you and is raising to get you to fold, or he could really have an ace.
The button is using position to his advantage to make the decision harder for the early position raiser. Even if the button just called the bet after the flop. The early position raiser still has no idea if he’s beat.
Position Example #2
Here’s another example of being aggressive in position. You are on the button and it is folded around to you. You have K-2, not the greatest hand in the world, but you raise because you know you will act last for the rest of the hand. You get one caller and the two of you see a flop of J-7-3.
You completely missed, but your opponent most likely missed too. You have many options on how to deal with this hand. If the opponent bets, you can decide if he’s making a play for the pot or if he really has a hand. Being in position allows you to see how your opponent reacts so that you can either get out of the way, or counter-act his move.
Dangers of Using Position
While using position to your advantage is great, it doesn’t mean you have the ability to play any hand you want and be able to win. You should still base what hands you play on your opponents, your chip stack, your opponents’ chip stack, any history you have had with the opponent, etc.
If you continue to raise when on the button, your opponents will pick up this and attack accordingly. You need to make sure you mix up your play and raise with strong hands as well as your weak ones to keep your opponents guessing.
However, if you start being more aggressive in position and playing tighter when out of position, you will see that many of your decisions become easier and thus you will be more successful at poker.