Join date: Apr 13, 2022


Wait for the Right Cards; Then Play Them Aggressively

Most players do not wait until they have the right cards, nor do they play them aggressively enough. They waste their chips by calling when they have weak hands, and they do not attack hard enough when they have strong ones. Because they respond passively to the other players’ initiatives, they slowly lose

A few players make the opposite error: They are promiscuously aggressive. They attack too often with weak or beaten hands. They are called Maniacs, a very apt term. They occasionally get hot and win big, but usually lose quickly and heavily.

For many games, selective aggression is the only winning style. It reduces losses on weak hands because you fold them quickly. It protects you against drawouts and increases the profits on your strong hands because you bet and raise when others would just check or call. Both folding and raising are decisive, while checking and calling are often procrastination, ways to avoid acting decisively.

Occasionally, this indecisiveness is extremely obvious. A player will call for $10, be told that someone has already raised, and put in another $10. He believed his hand was not worth raising, and the opponent’s raise indicates that his hand is relatively weaker, but he has doubled his bet. Anyone who plays like that—and many people do—will certainly lose.

It takes discipline to be selectively aggressive. You came to play, not to sit, but you have to throw away hand after hand. Then, when the right opportunity comes along, you must suppress your fears and merciful instincts and attack ferociously.

The tight-aggressive style is not at all natural:

Tightness and related qualities such as caution and control are not normally combined with aggressiveness. In fact, you will hardly ever see that combination outside of highly specialized occupations such as fighter pilots and police officers.

Because it is so unnatural, the tight-aggressive playing style rarely occurs without lots of work….To become a tight-aggressive player takes the right personality, lots of study, and extreme discipline.


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