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Playing Against the Tight Aggressive Player

Fortune Jack Poker

The tight aggressive poker player is a winning poker player. These are the toughest opponents to play against in No-Limit Texas Hold'em. When possible, try to avoid playing against these players since your overall profit will be low even if you are able to outplay them.

Recognising the Tight Aggressive Player

The tight aggressive player plays few hands but when he does play, he often bets and raises, seldom check or call.  By betting and raising with strong starting hands, he maximizes both the amount and his chances of winning, by getting more money into the pot and making his opponents fold. 

How to play against the Tight AGgressive Player

The tight but aggressive poker player is a toughest kind of opponent to beat in the game of Texas Hold'em. 

"If the enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him." - Sun Tzu        

Play Strong Hands

You should engage a tight aggressive player only when you have a good hand, such as top pair top kicker. 

Avoiding Them

If you can avoid playing against such players, do so. If there are other looser or less aggressive card players at the table, why not pick on them instead? Should the table be full of tight aggressive players, leave immediately.  

Don't Be Too Afraid of Their Raises

Their aggressive bets and raises often make the weak players fold their winning hands. Weak players fold winning hands mostly because they don't know how good their hand is. Remember Sun Tzu's teachings: "Know yourself!" By knowing whether you are holding a good hand or a mediocre hand, you will have the confidence to play back at the tight/aggressve opponent. This knowledge is gained from experience as well as knowing how to read the board.

For instance, a good rule of thumb that I use to define a good hand is that, in a heads up scenario with a ragged board, against a tight player, a top pair is a good hand while against a loose player, a second pair is good enough. Knowing this, I don't care if the tight/aggressive player raises because I know that in most cases, he should be holding top pair. I don't let their aggressive betting fool me into thinking that he has something like two pair or a set. If I do that, then I am playing weak/tight poker- a losing poker playing style.

But Respect Their All-In Moves

These players usually push all-in with hands close to the nuts. So don't call their all-in moves unless you possess the nut hand.

Make Them Fold on the Turn

If you have a hand and wish to make them fold,  consider betting or raising on the turn instead of the flop. Tight aggressive players seldom play drawing hands, so the turn usually don't help their hands. If they are really the tight solid players that they are, they will usually fold a top pair to a big bet on the turn, especially when the board suggests that a straight or a flush draw has been hit. 

Trapping the Tight Aggressive Player

Tight aggressive opponents can be trapped because of their aggressive betting nature. If you hit a monster hand on the flop, you can let them do the betting for you. For example, if you are dealt pocket aces, you can sometimes slowplay your pocket rockets if you are playing against a tight/aggressive player.

Playing the Player

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