The Key To Winning Poker

Playing aggressive isn’t just about throwing in big raises and making wild bets.
It means putting in those raises and bets with value when the situation is right.

What’s one attribute that most successful poker players possess?
Is it the ability to read people?
A knowledge of number?
A good grasp of the fundamentals of the game?
The best answer to that question is actually “aggression”.

If you want to be a winning poker player you must be aggressive.
A lot of bad poker players find it hard to be aggressive at the table, and their passive tendencies make them fish bait for the sharks.
Some people say you can’t teach a poker player to be aggressive because it’s a natural instinct.
However, if you sat down a fish with a pro and showed him how being aggressive helps him win, it would definitely help them see why it’s so important.

Before we get too far let’s explain the difference between playing aggressive and playing like a donk.
Playing aggressive isn’t just about throwing in big raises and making wild bets.
That’s plain stupid play, not aggressive play.
Being aggressive means putting in those raises and bets with value when the odds are in your favor, or you think you can bluff the pot, or you’ve picked up a tell from your opponent that you can exploit.
Playing like a donk is throwing in a huge bet with no reasoning to back that bet up.
This would include chasing improbable draws and trying to bluff at the wrong time.

Playing aggressive will give you an advantage over your opponent because it puts all the pressure on them.
They have to make all their decisions in reaction to your moves.
By putting this preasure on your opponent you open up more instances in which they might make a mistake and pay you off.

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There are three things that playing aggressive will do to help your game…

  1. Reduces the number of players – When you’re always betting and raising nobody can check or call a small bet to get a free or cheap card.
    This should limit the number of players playing against you, unless you’re up against a bunch of donks.
    The number of players you are up against makes a big difference no matter what cards you are holding.
    You’ll hear some donks say that by betting and raising you’re keeping the pot from growing.
    This is actually false, and it doesn’t matter how big the pot is if you allow players with crap cards to tag along to the river cheap, only for them to get lucky and beat you with a hand you could have made them fold by betting.

  2. Increases the pot size – Playing aggressive really does keep the pot growing.
    If you’re repeatedly betting and raising it will make it harder for other players to know when you’re playing a strong hand and when you’re bluffing with garbage.
    Since you’re hard to read you will receive more calls when you bet big instead of having everyone fold, leaving you only the blinds.
    Think of it like this: “Two players calling a bet of $100 creates a bigger pot than four players calling a bet of $25”.

  3. You can win two ways – If you’re betting and raising you can win two different ways.
    You can either win with the best hand or you can win by causing everyone else to fold.
    If you’re not aggressive no one will ever fold to your bets and you’ll only win when you have the best hand.
    That’s playing by luck instead of skill.
    Remember the old adage – “luck fades, skills doesn’t”.

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