Do’s and don’ts – smart aggressive players

I’m sure you all have played at some point with a smart aggressive player and asked yourselves what tactics to use against them. Before delving into this subject, it may be helpful to point out some of the features of this type of player.

The Smart aggressive opponent usually raises from cut off and button positions in an attempt to steal the blinds when everyone else has folded or when a tight player has called . This player is extremely active so it is advisable to sit at his left at the table because this position allows you to monitor his/her actions. If your position is not so favourable try not getting into so many pots with him.

Nonetheless, the first two places at the left of the smart aggressive player are not so favourable when you are in small blind or big blind as you will lose position. Be prepared to put a fight now and then to keep him honest because he tries to steel the blinds. You must not let him abuse you every time because the blinds bring in the action at the poker game (without them everyone will just wait for the best hand preflop: pocket aces). When the smart aggressive player raises from the button position and one or more players are already in hand you should better fold because you will be out of position. When everyone folds and he raises, you should analyze if his hand is real or he just wants to steel, taking into consideration the frequency of his previous raises from last position. In case he does this often, you should protect your blind by calling with hands that beat his range (the range represents the type of hands with which you assume he raises on the button). Remember that it’s a huge mistake to call with any two cards. So, if you don’t hit the flop you have two options: to check/fold after his bet on the flop, or to bluff by check/raise, letting him believe that you hit big. The last option, as you may assume, can’t be used too often.

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