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No-Limit Short Hand Ring Games – Aggression is King

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No-Limit Short Hand Ring Games – Aggression is King

Post  Pokerme on Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Article Written By Lloyd Zakeo


Poker is a game that requires math, skill, and discipline. Many people tend to think that luck is the main concept of the game but not knowing that skill and luck are of two different wavelengths. In order to get a winning edge, you certainly need to play a strategic game.

Playing short hand ring games (table with max 5 players) tends to be very profitable especially when you are a professional player or playing poker for money.

In this guide, you will learn the following:

The most profitable style of play

The advantages of aggression

How to play aggressively

How to deal with stubborn players (players who often go all-in)

Poker Plays

As soon as the game proceeds, you are faced with two situations – it’s either you win or lose. With every hand dealt to you, it has an equally likelihood of winning the pot.

However, if the hand does not improve or win the pot, does it have the capacity of standing as a stronger hand against all your opponents’ hands? This question is what makes the game complex but not only is the game controlled by the hand dealt. Other factors that influence the complexity of the game include player’s style of play such as the loose, loose aggressive, tight aggressive, passive and stubborn players.

Therefore, players tend to select certain type of hands to play with (starting hands) and avoid playing with the weak or meaningless hands. According to the way a player selects his or her starting hands determines his/her playing style. Thus, you need to know which hands to play with and the hands not to play with.

In poker, there are two main types of players – the loose and tight

Loose Player - A player who often plays many hands during the game and seldom folds

Tight Player - A player who only plays strong hands

These two types of players can be classed according to their aggression – Loose aggressive (LAG) and tight aggressive (TAG).

From the two playing styles – LAG and TAG, it has been observed that TAG is an effective playing style than compared to LAG. On the other hand, LAG is considered to be more profitable.

The Advantages Of Loose Aggressive (LAG) Style Of Play

Many people may tend to wonder, how can it be profitable playing LAG than TAG?

LAG is an effective strategy that can yield a good return on your investment and if not applied correctly it can be disastrous. In order to consider LAG a profitable style of play, you certainly need to consider your starting hands. Suited connectors, mid-suited / off suited connectors, high cards and high pairs are useful starting hands.

For example, if a player is dealt with a 6/9os, as a TAG player, s/he will automatically fold the hand due to the fact that s/he only plays high hands. Analyzing the hand - 6/9os tends to be a meaningless hand because the chances of it developing to a good hand can only be a three-of-a-kind, a straight and a full house at which these are very tough to come by. On the other hand, given that the board shows a 9 the chances of you winning the pot are very slight because you have a very low kicker when compared to any of your opponents holding a K/9.

Therefore, TAG players would never play with such a hand – 6/9os as they find it meaningless and unprofitable. However, the LAG players see the hand has highly profitable and consider to play with it. As a LAG player, there are many things you need to consider during the game. The concept of Loose Aggressive has to be applied correctly and at times it can be very complicated.

How to play aggressively – The LAG playing style

Firstly, before you think of playing a hand, you need to know the type of players you are playing with. LAG tends to be monstrous versus the fish and costly when facing the sharks or TAG players. Thus, by knowing your opponents, you have won half the battle.

Now, one thing you need to understand between the two is that LAG does not focus entirely on the player’s hand but pays more attention to the opponents betting action and community cards. On the other hand, TAG focuses entirely on the hand. Thus, as a poker player, you find out that the majority of players who bluff are loose players, they are the culprits who make the game complex, and their hand is very hard to judge because they can be holding a very strong or weak hand.

Hence, going back to the hand - 6/9os, how does a LAG player maneuver with such a hand?

Since the LAG concept focuses on betting, how does s/he go about it? Another trick with most LAG players is that they are out there to see cheap flops disregard to what hand they are holding but if you are new to LAG, its best to see cheap flops with suited connectors or better.

Going all-in preflop, is stupid because the chances of you winning the pot against the TAG players is very slim. The favorable betting action pre-flop is to simply call and avoid re-raising. You also need to look at the opponents who are raising and re-raising/ opponents making a 3bet pre-flop. Therefore, if the raises are not 2 times more than the pot size, you can proceed to call but if higher then you should fold.

As a LAG player, you need to be dormant during pre-flop because the moment you try to play aggressively, your opponents may think you have a stronger hand and try to call you down with their hands at which you will not get to read theirs but they have read yours. Therefore, during pre-flop the best betting option is to call and keep watch of the raisers.

The game play begins when you have seen the flop. Suppose, if holding a 6/9os and the flop shows T-9-2 and you are at late position or the last man to act, you can simply raise given that no opponent has bet at which you get to force other opponents to fold their hands, on the other hand you have a pair in hand.

Another alternative, consider you are holding a A/T and the flop shows A-T-4, applying the check-raise technique can effective especially when you need your opponents to overcall thereby increasing the size of the pot and making it profitable.

On the other hand, if you are bombarded with loose opponents often known as the stubborn players who often go all-in pre-flop then you need to start-off with high hands only so as to defeat them with a higher kicker. Therefore, as a player, you need to constantly change your style of play between LAG and TAG and it should always be aggressive. Your betting action on the table should not be that of a passive player who is always out of the game.


In order for you to have a winning edge, you need to play aggressively. As an aggressive player, you should be able to steal blinds, defend blinds, bluffing, bluff-catching your opponents, etc as well as intimidating your opponents to fold their hand whenever possible.

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Join date : 2011-11-25

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