Texas Hold ‘Em: Be Aggressive

Like the cheerleaders said: “If you want to win the poker game, you have to be aggressive. B-e aggressive.”

Yes, it’s that simple. Don’t be a player who just checks and calls – control the board when you get a chance. Mind you, you shouldn’t just be aggressive to be aggressive. It’s really only a benefit to your play when you keep a cool head and pick the right places and times to bet or raise. We’re going to review when and how to use aggression on your poker game.

Buy Position Using Aggression
By forcing opponents out of the pot in pre-flop betting, you essentially buy a better position at the board. Let’s say you’re holding QsJs and are sitting two seats before the button in the rotation. Everyone has folded except for a player who limped in. If you raise the betting to four big blinds, and the seat next to the button along with the button itself folds, you’ve bought the last seat in the rotation.

Get Free Cards By Being Aggressive
By playing aggressively, your opponents will be more likely to check to you rather than betting themselves to see how you react to the hand before they respond with their play. This is because your opponents will be less inclined to bet mediocre hands for fear of being raised off of them, and they will sometimes check big hands to you in hopes of inducing a bluff.

This can work to your advantage greatly if you flop a flush or a straight draw. If your opponent checks because of your aggressive style hoping get a bluff, then you’ll have earned a free card to try and complete the draw, where normally they would have bet into you if we had not been playing aggressively.

Get Paid By Being Aggressive
Now, if you’re constantly aggressive at the table, your opponents are going to start to give you less credit for your hands as the game goes on. They’ll start to call you when out in the hopes of catching you bluffing, but if you’re holding a good hand, you’re going to get paid more.

You’ll be making money each time an opponent calls because they don’t believe you, but you’ll also want to be aware of when opponents may be trying to trap you. Just as you’re creating a table image while playing, they’re doing the same. Take the time and energy to evaluate your opponents while they’re playing to make sure you don’t fall for your own schemes.