There is more than one way to win a hand of poker, however, a strategic approach can improve your odds. Tight aggressive poker is one of these strategies and if employed correctly it can win you money. Let’s discuss what it is and the advantages and pitfalls of using it in competition.
What is Tight Aggressive Poker?
At its most simple, tight aggressive poker involves playing only a few hands but playing aggressively when you do. A player using this strategy rarely calls and instead favours betting and raising, forcing his opponents to pay a premium to see his cards. Tight aggressive poker involves a narrow pre-flop range, followed by a committed and aggressive series of continuation bets.
As with any strategy, tight aggressive poker has its strengths and weaknesses. Before employing this strategy you should be aware of these so you can avoid any pitfalls and maximise your chances of winning.
Using TAP To Your Advantage
The first benefit of tight aggressive poker is that it’s cost effective. Since you are playing off a narrow range you spend less money on speculative hands. This might suit the player who doesn’t want to buy in with large amounts and is happy to sit out of the majority of hands. It’s also cost effective as you risk very little yet can gain a lot, by playing aggressively with strong hands you have the potential to win some big pots.
Another benefit of this strategy is that it is very effective against weaker opponents. Less experienced and less skillful opponents may well fail to pick up on your strategy. This allows you to minimize speculative bets but continue to win hands when the cards fall in your favor.
Avoid These Pitfalls
As with any strategy, tight aggressive poker does have some pitfalls that you should be mindful of. One of these is predictability.
In contrast to loose aggressive poker this strategy is more predictable. Good players may be able to recognise your strategy and counter it, if they realise you are only playing when you get strong cards they will rarely call and your chances of winning substantial pots will diminish. To avoid this, have a few strategies that you can switch between. When you feel like your opponents think they’ve figured you out, mix it up to gain the upper hand.
Tight aggressive poker is a great way to risk a little but gain a lot. When using this strategy be mindful of the pros and cons and keep varying your approach to avoid becoming predictable.