The Importance of Aggression in Texas Holdem

Texas-HoldemAggression in Texas hold’em is key to playing at a winning level, but in this article we’ll discuss why aggressive play is profitable in online and live holdem games. There’s a number of reasons why smart aggressive play is the right kind of strategy to adopt when playing hold’em.

First and foremost, aggressive poker intimidates other players. Everyone respects the captain at the table. The more you raise fear in the other players, the more you’ll put them off their game and their own poker strategy will suffer as a result.

The best way to play aggressively is to do so in a selective way. Well-timed aggression is basically printing money when executed properly. There is a thin line between being clever and stupid when executing an aggressive playing style. If you adopt a strategy that is too aggressive and you play so recklessly that you play like a maniac it will only end in tears. This is where you need to be cleverly aggressive.

If you’re the one who is taking the initiative and applying the pressure it forces your opponents to make hard decisions. Hence, the reason that raise/folding is often the right play, as it allows you to gain the lead and represent a strong hand. If you raise preflop and coming out making big bets after the flop your opponents will likely think you have a strong hand.

If an aggressive player is sitting at a poker table with other conservative players he will be able to steal the blinds at will as tight players will only defend with a good hand, which they won’t get dealt very often. Re-raising preflop is also a viable strategy as tight aggressive players will be folding very often. In the game of no limit Texas holdem, whether it’s tournaments or cash games, often this can be a decision for their entire stack.

If you play too conservatively, it becomes very obvious what kind of hands you’re playing, and any observant player will not call your raise unless they have the goods themselves, as they know you have a great hand.

By playing more hands, you balance your range, and it will make it more difficult for your opponents to put you on a hand. You can potentially have a big hand, and you can potentially have nothing, raising doubt in the eyes of your opponents, and allowing you to get paid off when you have it.

But if you play too recklessly, the other players will soon catch on to the fact that you’re a maniac and will be much more willing to call your bluff and you’ll end up losing the stack you’ve just built up.

All in all, if you employ a smart aggressive strategy, other players will never know when you are bluffing and when you have a monster hand. You will receive much more action than the conservative player but not so much that you’ll lose your stack as the reckless poker player would. A conservative styles requires getting good hands, but a good player can keep adding chips to their stack the times the cards aren’t so favorable, which is obviously incredibly important in any Texas hold’em game you play.