Poker Essays

Fixed Limit Hold 'em Strategy - Playing in Loose/Aggressive Games
By June 2006

Loose/Aggressive poker games can be the most fun to play, but also the most frustrating. If you have a chance to sit in one of these types of games, you should jump at it. But what exactly do we mean by Loose/Aggressive, and how can we profit from playing in this type of game?

There are two dimensions along which poker playing styles are measured. On one dimension is Loose vs Tight. Looser players tend to play more pots, and are willing to commit poker chips to see a flop without the strongest hands. Tight players like to wait for premium or near premium hands before getting involved.

The other dimension is Passive vs. Aggressive. Passive players like to commit as few chips to the pot as possible, checking and calling their hands. Aggressive players like to put chips in and pressure their opponents, betting and raising to force opponents to pay to see more cards.

Most players fall somewhere in the middle of these dimensions, with tendencies towards one side or the other. Certain players, and certain games, take on a tenor that favor one or more of these dimensions. The loose aggressive player is also called a "maniac" and with good reason. These players put chips into the pot with reckless abandon, playing a wide variety of hands and usually staying in all the way to the river with little regard to signs indicating they should slow down. While this can be a little intimidating, especially to the new player, these can be among the most profitable games in poker, and you should not pass up an opportunity to sit in one of these games.

One of the most frustrating things about these games is that these players will often catch cards on you. When you bet all the way with double-Aces and lose to someone with 4, 3 when the flop was 9, 8, 4 and a 3 came on the river, it is very easy to go "on tilt" (play badly for emotional reasons). You will be tempted to loosen your own starting requirements just to get into another pot with these players so you can punish them for their careless play. This is the worst thing you can do. Your main edge comes from the fact that you are entering pots with much stronger hands than they typically are, so the pot is always laying you the best odds when you win. Playing too many hands makes you just another loose player, and negates your advantage.

These are games where it is generally useless to try and bluff, as someone will always call you. In contrast, these games provide good opportunities to value bet for the same reason. You generally want to handle these games by betting your good hands and letting your opponents call you down with draws or second best hands. Although you will take some bad beats in this game, remain resolute and patient. Poker is a game of odds and probabilities, and ultimately the odds will catch up with these loose players. You want to be in there playing your best game when this happens. When it does, your patience will be rewarded with an ever growing stack of chips.

Continue to next essay

Poker Questions and Answers

Poker Forum

Party Poker is one of the biggest poker rooms in the world and you will always be able to quickly find the game and limit of your choice. Don't waste your time on small poker rooms that have not achieved critical mass. Great interface, clean games and generous player points system. Sign up bonus for new accounts.

Pacific Poker is another one of the giant poker rooms where you don't have to wait for ages for your game of choice. One of the reasons I love playing at Pacific is that the games often seem to be of a relatively low standard. Some sites boast lots of famous players and pros, but if you just want to win money then Pacific is one of the best sites around. Good new account bonuses, nice interface, super fast dealing and clean games make this site one of the best.



Home|FAQs|Disclaimer|Contact us

©2008 Ozmium Pty Ltd. All rights reserved