Tight Aggressive Poker Strategy

by PokerFanatic | posted in Poker articles

Poker Strategy

This article will illustrate why playing tight aggressive poker AKA TAG is a winning poker strategy. For anyone getting started playing online poker, unquestionably TAG is the playing style you should be looking to adopt, because its based upon a solid technical game.

First, let me define what playing tight aggressive poker actually means, because to the novice, it can sound confusing. How can you play tight, but be aggressive at the same time? Let me explain.

Tight refers to playing fewer hands, so you play only premium hands like AK/AQ, pocket pairs, broadway cards, suited connectors, etc pre-flop. Basically all the hands which have potential to flop a big hand, or already made hands like AA/KK. A TAG will generally play 10 to 15% of all hands at full ring tables but this number is even bigger in 6-max games because TAGs are required to open up your game in short handed games.

The second part of this playing strategy involves being aggressive. Playing aggressively poker means that before the flop you will be raising instead of limping in and generally playing your hands aggressively on the flop and later streets. For example, if you raise with AA before the flop, you will want to make a big bet on the flop or turn to take it down. If you have top pair and put your opponent on a flush draw, you will bet the turn to make them pay for a draw instead of playing with scared money.

Playing tight aggressive poker will enable you to exploit your table image. Due to having tight starting hand requirements you will often have the best hand and your tight table image will allow you to steal pots when you miss the flop and bluff more successfully in poker.

In addition to raising and re-raising pre-flop, playing aggressively when you think you have the best hand will ensure that you get maximum value for all your hands. Playing a hand passively will just allow your opponents to outdraw you and you are failing to get additional chips in the pot.

There is no reason to get fancy and deviate from a TAG poker strategy at low limits. Playing tight aggressive poker will make you money at these stakes. The players at these limits are generally pretty bad and will play too many hands. Even though you are playing less hands you will still get action on all of your hands, so make sure you are always betting for value to extract the most amount of chips with every hand.

Weak players don’t have a good enough understanding of poker to defeat your efficient tight aggressive poker strategy, so make them pay. By only playing premium starting hands you will often be ahead of your opponent’s ranges. For example, you will open raise with AK in early position and a weaker player will call with K5 because they have suited cards. If a K comes on the flop, they will often get attached to their hand and pay you off on all 3 streets.

Remember, by adopting a tight aggressive poker strategy, with patience and a sound technical game you will make money at the online poker tables.

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