It can be intimidating when you’re sitting in a poker game and one opponent consistently raises preflop and bets all streets.
How can they have good hands all the time?
It’s critical to remember that they cannot have good hands all the time. Sure, it’s possible for players to go on heaters, but it’s easy to differentiate between the player who really is on a run of good cards from a player who is not.
Once we identify someone who is not consistently getting good cards, we can formulate good tactics for playing against these loose aggressive players.
What is loose aggressive?
A loose poker player is one who puts money into the pot with almost anything. An aggressive poker player is one who takes the initiative by betting and raising on a regular basis.
A player who has both characteristics at the same time is known as loose aggressive (LAG for short). Players who use an extreme version of that strategy often are referred to as maniacs.
Lowering your standards
When you get a LAG player in your crosshairs it is important to analyze whether this player is capable of slowing down or if they go full speed ahead no matter what.
If they never slow down, you can lower our standards for the hands you need to play against them. You might be willing to fold middle pair to a tight player because that tight player most likely has middle pair beat. Against a LAG player, on the other hand, your middle pair is often good.
Two ways to combat LAGs
In the middle pair situation against a LAG player, you might make them do the work for you and call their bets on the flop, the turn, and the river.
To make that strategy profitable, you have to be sure that more often than not the player is not capable of or willing to slow down. You might lose value on the river if the opponent decides to stop betting.
Another way to play against LAG players is to give them a taste of their own medicine. They’re trying to get you to fold with pure aggression. If you play back at them with a raise or re-raise, you put them in a position to continue with a hand that probably doesn’t have much of a chance against that raise or re-raise.
If you recognize they don’t have a good hand, it may not matter if you have a bad hand because they may believe you when you represent a good hand.
Wait for a better spot
What happens if you just don’t feel comfortable putting money into the pot even if you’re pretty sure you have a better hand than the LAG player?
The good news is you don’t have to give up. If the player is playing so many hands, you are bound to get a hand you ARE comfortable with at some point. You just have to be patient.
It’s frustrating to see a player win a lot of pots when you’re sure they have nothing, but if you can trade that frustration for patience, you likely will find a good spot to win a big pot against that player.
One big pot may be all you need to book a winning session, but the good news about playing against a LAG player is you could win multiple big pots if you have patience and