How to Beat Aggressive Players that Over Bet
Poker is about playing your opponents. Your strategy adjusts depending on how they play so today we’ll help you play against aggressive poker players. Sometimes it’s easy and you can push players around. Other times there are some aggressive players that make any pot risky and expensive. At first sight, these players seem tough to play against, but you can turn their aggression against them. The trick is to not butt heads every chance you get, but to pick your spots wisely. You have to adjust and not make your moves predictable though. In poker, you’re always adapting.
Patience is Sometimes the Key
Poker can be a slow game. You have to fight the temptation to play hands just because you’re bored. Sitting back and knowing when to pick your spots is essential. You risk money every time you put some into the pot, so the more hands you play, the more you risk losing.
This is what aggressive players do. They play a lot of hands, bet big and try to bully their way to victory every hand. These players risk a big part of their stack every hand, and sometimes it might not be worth it. It’s your goal to make sure it costs them heavily when they try it against you.
You do this by letting them hang themselves. When a player bets big and you hit your big hand, just keep checking and letting them bet big. If they always raise you, then keep betting normally and let them raise and call. If you’re perceived as too tight, don’t start playing back too much because they might suspect something is up.
So if you hit a set, a flush or straight, keep playing the way that sparks the most aggression from your opponent. It’s easy to feel confident once you hit your hand, but these players make getting to any flop pretty expensive. So, preflop, draw hands are good to play against these players. Suited connectors are good hands because when you hit a straight or a flush, chances are you have your opponent beat.
Pocket pairs are also great hands against aggressive players because trips are incredibly well hidden and very powerful. So be patient, hit big and let the aggressive players hang themselves.
Poker is all about odds. When you’re hoping to hit a flush, you calculate the number of cards you need to hit with the price it costs you to call. If the price is good, then, statistically, it’s a good call. But what happens when a player bets a wildly large amount? This throws the odds completely out of proportion and makes any call too expensive to be mathematically worth it.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a countermove. If not, aggressive poker players would just bet big every hand. Overbets can show strength, or sometimes they’re meant to push players off a hand. It could also be a player protecting their draw. Either way, it puts you to the test almost instantly. You have to know what the best move is in any given spot. It really depends on what your hand is for how you want to deal with it.
If you have top pair with QJ on a board like Q83 with two hearts, it is extremely difficult to figure out what to do when facing an over-bet. This is also why when facing aggressive players you should play more premium holdings pre-flop. This will avoid the scenario completely and put you in better shape post-flop. When you have a hand like QJ on that flop, you are really just guessing what your opponent has. They could have AK and make a strong lead or pocket tens even, but most commonly you will see hands like AQ, KK, AA, a set, or a flush draw. The whole key to avoiding this spot is a remaining discipline with your pre-flop holdings. You don’t want to put your money in behind or guessing especially if it is for your tournament life in a major poker tournament.
However, if you have a hand like pocket Aces or Kings, you want to inflate the pot, so, that you give your opponent the chance to fire an over-bet. If you notice you get three-bet before the flop almost always, you can just call a re-raise instead of moving over the top with a big pocket pair. This will allow you to win a big pot off of an aggressive player and give them the idea that you will fold, but in reality, you can scoop a monster pot from them. The reason you don’t want to put in the fourth bet against an aggressive player is that they will do the betting for you. You can trap them into thinking they will win the pot then you can snag a monster pot from them without them thinking you will.
It is tricky and something that you will learn over time to be effective, but it will only work in scenarios where your opponent will never give up.
Now you can tackle aggressive poker players. You can practice with some freerolls, there are plenty of aggressive players there. If you’re ready for real money poker, then get going! Good luck at the tables!