Dealing with Aggressive Player

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aggressive poker player

We’ve spoken already about the importance of understanding your opponent’s psyche. And one of the most basic things about understanding your opponents is to find out whether he’s a passive or an aggressive player. Of course, that’s not a very hard thing to do usually, but sometimes things aren’t as simple as they seem. Today’s article will focus on how to identify and deal with those who are aggressive players by nature – regardless of whether they’re playing aggressively in a given round.

What are the different poker personalities?

Poker players can be broadly sub divided into four different categories. They are:

  • Tight-aggressive
  • Tight-passive
  • Loose-aggressive
  • Loose-passive

When you learn to identify the personality type of your poker opponent, it becomes easier for you to predict how he will play. And if you’re able to nail that part right, you may even be able to predict what type of card your poker opponent could possibly hold in each of the situations.

Who is an aggressive poker player? How to identify an aggressive poker player?

An aggressive poker player will raise many hands (pre-flop) before calling the rest. He will probably bet on every possible flop – well almost – and won’t let go of the opportunity to bet on any flop if someone checks it to him. If someone else raises his bet, he will prefer to re-raise it further and without any hesitation; he will probably cap the whole thing to the river.

Aggressive poker players, especially ones a little green behind their ears, tend to play any starting hand without much discrimination. It doesn’t really matter if they are holding a card with 2 and 7 of clubs and hearts. They won’t budge from playing.

While aggressive players can gift you your biggest wins, they can also make you suffer the greatest losses. The reason for this is that it is very difficult to bluff them out of a hand – especially when they are experienced.

How to play these aggressive types?

Suppose you are sitting at a rock garden, that is, a poker table where every player appears scared of the cards others are holding. In the midst of this, one particular opponent is choosing to bet big amounts on every other hand or on every hand. And surprisingly, he is also winning almost every of them.

In such a situation, if you possess a mid pair, it is advisable to call that player’s bluff a number of times or at least once. This will help you gain a penetrating insight into his betting patterns and strategies; and most likely, you will beat him a few times. As a rule, it is always a good idea to pay close attention to an aggressive player who bets on every hand and wins it.

How to identify and play a Passive Aggressive player?

Passive aggressive players prefer not to throw away their chips. They are good people readers or mind readers who can easily identify which player is passive, who is aggressive, who is a river rat and who is a rock. A poker player with the maximum repertoire of experience often turns out to be a passive aggressive type. As I said just now, a wholly aggressive player is a total bluff master. A passive aggressive player won’t bluff so much, though he will definitely fulfill his modest quota of bluffing.

If these passive aggressive players have a decent hand (higher cards or middle cards), they may choose to call the blind to the flop. Passive aggressive types like to chase other players hard and if they acquire a hand, can smash into the aggressive types. If you want to beat a passive aggressive type, play like a river rat because that’s his worst enemy.

Passive aggressive players are the careful types who don’t generally commit mistakes. That’s because these types of players usually don’t call large bets if they feel they don’t stand a good chance at winning. As a result, they often turn out to be the ones with big stacks at the end of the game.

How to identify a Loose Aggressive poker player?

This type’s VPIP and PFR are both above 25. His 3 bet percentage will typically be above 7 while his aggression factor is 3 or above. His frequency of aggression will top above 60 and he will normally have a very good hand reading ability. But that doesn’t mean he is infallible. His continuation bet is generally very high but he would also be prone to lesser amounts of c-betting, especially if he is a good player.

These players love to bet aggressively, possess a good understanding of equity, and can play many hands.

How to beat Loose Aggressive players?

The number of hands played by these types is their biggest weakness. These types of players often end up playing way too many hands and place too many bets. And when they place their bets, in almost all the cases, they don’t possess a strong hand.

The surefire way of beating these players is to letting them bluff when you possess a strong hand. If you hold nothing, you should just raise the bet to take them off. If you want to get away with your tricks while playing these types, project a tight image and use trickery with caution because loose aggressive types are winning players, and you can’t keep beating them over the long run by bluffing alone.

How to recognize a Tight Aggressive player?

Tight aggressive players don’t play many pots, but when they do, they choose to play very aggressively.

How to beat a Tight Aggressive player?

These types, though capable of bluffing, don’t do it too often. So, looking up these players won’t yield much of a positive result. Try to stay out of their path when you don’t possess a strong hand. With a strong hand or a hand that has good implied odds, you may take them down.


Being able to “beat” a type of player doesn’t always entail gaining an upper hand even without having a strong hand yourself. It means being able to understand when to challenge them and when to let them be. Identification is the key here. Once you peg the person to his right personality type, you can decide whether to fold in a particular round or call your opponent’s bluff.

Lastly, remember that it’s not about ego or beating the blowhard. It’s about playing your game the best way you can.

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