Select Page

Poker Aggression Guide

Gah, I got this idea in my head and thought I’d write it down. A month ago I essentially explained to my AIM buddies something I was thinking about in a lot of depth, as it was a concept that was integral in killing tight passive games.

Pretty much everything I write in this thread is expressions, applications, or branches of a trunk of this one concept: If you have decent equity against a range, and you think there is some fold equity, be inclined to bet/shove.

The premise of this is when I realized that you are never very behind preflop or on the flop versus any range with any decent hand. A gutshot is 20% to win about versus most any range you can put out there. Axs and small pp’s are nearly 33% against most stack off ranges of opponents preflop! It’s pretty unbelievable when you realize, with dead money in the pot, you barely need any fold equity to make this a break even play, and the metagame can be absolutely ridiculous.

Now here are some applications of that concept.

If you have 20% equity or better on the flop and there’s fold equity, be inclined to bet/shove.

If you have 33% equity or better facing a stack off calling range preflop, facing a threebet or fourbet, and you think there’s fold equity, raise/shove.

If you can count two hands or more on the river you feel your opp likely has and will fold to a bet/shove with, do it.

Try to manipulate your opponent to carry weaker hands into later streets.

Try to manipulate your opponent to play a range that you have solid equity against.

Try to manipulate your opponent to play passively. (Note: If he raises our bets and we have 0 FE so we fold, we didn’t have any equity against his range did we? IMPORTANT!)

If your range is ahead of your opponents range, be more inclined to bet/shove (ISF theorem).

Always try to play your nut hands in a way that leaves room for FE (aka balance your ranges).

Try to make bet sizes that allow for FE if you are called/raised.

Try to play in such a way that easily defines your value bets and your bluffs.

Ok, I’m done.

(NOTE: All of these applications are easily debated by other variables of poker, and I don’t refute those claims. But I do believe in spots where you will want to be aggressive, one or more of these applications will correlate.)

Look at it this way. We raise preflop with 98s, get a lagg caller from the blinds.

Flop comes 58T two spades, we have none. He checks. If we bet this flop, our value bets and bluffs are not easily defined. If we bet A3 here (very reasonable play) we may fold out something like 64, which we were beating. We can get called from out cbet with 98 by A8, or even T9, JT, some hand like that. We can even get blown off our hand by a worse hand like a fd, total air, 97, j9, qj, etc.

And lets say he calls and the turn comes a 3. He checks again. We think we’re ahead a good amount so we could bet again, we could even fold out a better hand like a bad T or a better 8, and sometimes we just value town ourselves. We set ourselves up to play against a range where we really don’t know whether we are value betting or bluffing, because it can really be either.

Now if we check behind the T85 flop, and the turn comes a 3. He checks again, We can go bet turn bet river pretty easily as a value bets.

I’m not saying we should check behind in this situation always or w/e, but it explains the concept of it.

Note: This is my understanding of a concept that was explained to me that makes a ton of sense, I very well could be wrong, Sauce or gabe could check me on this one.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *