Dealing With Aggressive Players On Your Table

A lot of players avoid playing shorthanded 6-max ring games online due to the aggressive nature of these games. But how can you expect to improve as a player if you always choose to avoid situations which make you uncomfortable? Part of improving your own poker game is stepping outside of your comfort zone and having to make tough decisions. This includes learning how to deal with aggressive players on your table.

So, instead of fearing situations when you have crazy maniacs at your table, you should relish the challenge, and think about tactics and strategies for countering their aggressive style of play. Just because a player is aggressive doesn’t imply they’re very good players. In fact, most LAGs at the micro stakes are going to be pretty bad.

When dealing with aggressive players on your table, it also doesn’t mean you have to let them run over you, thinking you can stack them once you set the trap and wait for a big hand to stack off against them with. If you can better understand why an aggressive poker player is making a certain play, you’ll be able to get in their mind, and play back against them in a more optimal manner.

Understand that there are varying levels of aggression in the players you will encounter at the table. Some players will be very aggressive preflop, re-raising a lot more hands, but shut down when they have nothing on the flop. Other players will always fire a continuation bet in an attempt to steal the pot on the flop since they were the preflop aggressor, but then shut down on the turn when called. And then you have other players that just have an all round aggressive style of game, always looking to put the pressure on opponents pre and post flop, and these kinds of players can be the trickiest to play against, as they will be regularly putting you in uncomfortable spots.

There are various ways with which you should be adjusting to aggressive players. Much of it depends on whether these players are to your right or left at the table. Ideally, you want to be sitting to their left so you can act after he does and isolate them in pots. It will be profitable to play in heads up pots against LAGfish that will stack off really wide and make bad bluffs in three bet pots since they won’t have much of a hand most of the time. They will allow their ego to get the better of them, making them try to outplay you after the flop. When sitting to the left of them, you’ll have positional advantage in most pots you play against them, which is going to a huge advantage.

With that being said, you don’t always get to sit down in an ideal seat at the table, and sometimes you will get seated to the right of aggressive players. It’s not like you can spot the aggressive players at the table when you first sit down, either, so even in situations where you get to pick a seat, you can’t know for sure which seat is going to be the most profitable for you.

Although having aggressive players to your left is not a great situation to be in, especially against tough aggressive opponents, if you can make the right adjustments, not just to the one player but the entire table, they shouldn’t make your life too difficult for you.

If you have aggressive players in the blinds you can probably assume they will three bet a lot from the blinds, as they know you are opening from the button and late positions with a fairly wide range of hands. You will rarely see aggressive players just calling, especially out of position. Instead, they like to take the initiative and betting lead in the hand, since they know more often than not you can’t continue against a three bet.

Against such players, you should look to steal the blinds less frequently, otherwise you will find yourself opening on the button and folding to their three bets a lot. You can also call their three bets, both with premium hands and hands that have lots of potential after the flop, and sometimes four bet them light when you sense they’re getting out of line.

At the end of the day, if you’re really finding yourself involved in action at a really tough table, and find yourself having to make too many difficult decisions, you can always quit the game and find another table. When playing online poker this is ridiculously easy to do. You can fire up a new table at the same stakes within a matter of seconds, assuming there are other tables spread.