Facing aggressive players in NLHE ring games

Years ago I used to back off and stop raising so often whenever I encountered loose-aggressive players in the blinds. For example it had been folded around to me on the button and I held the 9d-7d and I make it 3.5bb to go. If I get three bet from the big blind then I used to automatically fold. Then if the same thing happened again then I would fold again. However my NLHE game is stronger these days than simply going into my shell and refusing to raise someone’s blind unless I hold a premium hand.

These days I am willing to go to war with these people. What we need to remember here is that we are not always talking about a LAG player but in some cases it could be a TAG player that has become temporarily loose-aggressive just against you in this one hand. So I will look to still raise with my 9d-7d because I am hoping that my opponent raises me to something like 14bb. If they are doing this with a wide range then they are simply donating chips to my stack.

Every once in a while then you run into the very top of their range but hey……that’s NLHE for you. In this instance then I will either four bet pre-flop or look to balance my future actions by calling the three bet and then playing a pot in position. You have to accept that variance is increasing when this happens but it is just one of the ways in which you have to combat loose-aggressive players. At the end of the day then there is money to be won on a poker table and that money is gained not by making big hands but by catching your opponent with a weak hand.

Big hands are a bonus in poker but they should never be the ultimate goal when you sit down to play. So I may raise with a hand like 9-7s not because I suspect that my opponent will not raise but often because I want them to. This is almost like setting them up to lose even more money than they would have done otherwise. In the modern online poker climate then you need to speculate to accumulate just like you do in other areas of financial risk.

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