Poker/Player betting on every hand
Hi Vic, thanks for reading my question.
I'm a fairly new poker player, and so far I've only been playing online for fun (haven't quite got the confidence to play live or for money yet).
My question concerns players that bet on every single hand they get. I recently played online and was faced with a player, that regardless of the hand they had, just kept betting. Never called, just bet. Sometimes they had something good, sometimes they just had eight high or something random like that.
Are there any tips on dealing with these types of players? Naturally, I don't feel like calling their bets when they are so outrageous, but I later find that I could have easily beat their hand.
Thanks in advance,
Playing poker on-line is a great way to relax and challenge yourself -- whether you're playing for real money or just for fun. If you do decide to take the next step and play for real money you'll immediately notice a big difference in the quality of play. They really are two totally different games.
The opponents you'll find in the various "free" poker sites run the gamut, but they are generally inexperienced novice players who play poker for the thrill. And what's more thrilling than seeing every hand through to the river and raising your opponents when the chips have no monetary value? Your question centers around how to handle these opponents.
The opponents you describe play a very wide range of starting hands. They are not phased by opening for a raise with the worst hand of 7♥2♣ and will act the same when they start with the very best hand of A♦A♠. What's the correct strategy against these loose-aggressive types, otherwise known as LAGs? You need to tighten your range of starting hands and enter pots only when you have premium hands. Think about it...if your opponents play 100% of there hands and you only play 20% of your hands (those premium hands) you will have your opponent dominated a great percentage of the time. When your opponent acts after you (i.e. they have position) then you can limp into pots with pairs of 9♦9♥ or higher, suited connectors of J♠T♠ or higher, and unsuited Broadway cards (i.e. AK, AQ, AJ, AT, KQ, KJ, QJ). In these situations when your opponent has position, use his overly aggressive nature against him and let him do the betting. On later streets you can raise him when you have an overpair to the board or connected with the other hands I mentioned above.
When you're in position, meaning your opponent acts first after the flop, you can open with a slightly wider range of hands: all pocket pairs, suited connectors of 9♦8♦ and above, suited one-gappers of J♠9♠ and above, and all unsuited Broadway cards. Put your opponent to the test pre-flop by re-raising him with your premium holdings.
When your opponent sees that they are winning many small pots against others, but losing a handful of large pots against you, they will realize that they cannot play every hand for a raise on every street. There will be repercussions for their actions and you'll be the boss at your table enforcing the law when you identify these LAG players.
Now, adjusting to changing table conditions is an important part of all poker players' games, so the LAG will slowly adjust by folding more of his hands and raising fewer of them. You will need to identify this adjustment and adjust yourself by loosening up your game a bit, but the key to solve your initial problem with the LAG players is to play tighter (fewer hands) and slow-play them, allowing your opponent to dig themselves into a big hole before you re-raise them off the pot or induce them to call with weaker holdings.
I hope this quick tip helps improve your game when you're playing on-line for "fake" money. Playing live poker or playing on-line for cash really is a different game, so proceed slowly.
Good luck at the tables and have fun!