Today my poker free online games training article is about passive and aggressive play, specifically I’m looking at when and why one style is preferable to the other. To do this I’m looking at a real life hand played out in a pro game to try and illustrate the factors involved and things you need to consider in regard to your playing style profile.
Aggressive players are characterised by their frequent use of raises and bets. Passive players call bets and raises. To be passive, which is essentially to be cautious, can be a good way to play in major tournaments such as the WSOP where, for example, a J-10 in a flop of 10-8-4 is decent enough for playing with middle of the road care. You’d play such a hand possibly by check-calling or placing only small bets with an aim of value-betting at the end if the table if it looks safe enough. But being too passive, as in this example, can lead to destruction.
Blinds – 3000/6000
A has As-Ah raise to 16k
B has Ks-Qs call 16k (Pot 50k)
Since B has a position over A and his K-Q is suited, he can afford a call. In the meantime A plays his pocket A’s like any other raising the hand in middle position to confuse B. If A only called his Aces it could make B think he has A-A and result in B calling or folding later should A give away more strength signals.
The Flop: 7s-2d-Qh
A bets 23k
N now calls with 23k – the pot stands at 96k
A’s gets are based mainly on the pure value of the Aces rather than the possible value of B’s hand. With three undercards falling (and the likely possibility of the Queen pairing someone, especially a caller from late position) his Aces are secure, provided that no face card falls later, because it may pair the kicker of the one holding a Queen. B too thinks his Queens hold value though he knows not enough should a King or Ace fall – an option now is to put A on a bluff with Ax or Kx, so he just calls.
A bets 55k
B calls 55k (Pot 206k)
A does again what he did on the Flop, and thinks likewise. B also stays the same. As there are no draws on the Flop (both may think a backdoor Flush unlikely) and his Aces still all undercarded A keeps on hammering B aggressively and B stays hammered in passive mode.
Now A bets 121k making the pot 372k
This bet forces B all in. Because all cards are undercards to A’s Aces, and all other board cards are undercards to B’s Queens, A thinks B now has a Queen which he may be willing to be suicidal with. So A does not slow down as most players do (even with Aces most players think that it is still just one pair, so they may check only, or if they feel their Aces are good, then they may try to check-raise) and instead pushes B all-in.
B still thinks his Queens are strong enough which is why he has come as far as the river. Then he plays the textbook maneuver. Could it be that he is up against A-Q? Unlikely he thinks so…
B moves all in on 121k
A aggressively hammered at B all the way from preflop to the post river all in death and B just kept accepting the hammering. A did not give B a chance to react gracefully. B just call-called all the way to his chip death.
It could be that B sensed As unusual strength since he just called all the time. If he did, then he should have trusted his read in the river. The Flop and the Turn bets may be offering cheap spots for him to call, so that even if he knows he’s beat at that point, he can still draw, but the river bet – enough to finish his tournament life – isn’t.
So, yes aren’t there a lot of things to think about in this hand, and of course the same it true for most poker hands. One point to be clear on is that there isn’t a right and wrong way, you should not play aggressive or passive all the time, in order to be great at poker you have to be able to play both ways and all the ways in between and adapt as you go along.
Ok that is easier to say than do I accept, so the next advice is that practice perfects the art. And a very good way to practice what this free online poker coaching article is demonstrating is to play free poker practice games but not with real money on our very own NoPayPOKER.com where you can practice your poker skills with zero risk of money loss (it is also US legal) and then when ready try your hand for real cash.
- Free Online Poker Guide To Passive Versus Aggressive Play – What Is Best?
- Free Online Poker Hand Play Lessons – Value Bet Play Example
- Free Online Poker Guide Bluffing With The Best Hand In The River
- Free Online Poker Guide To How, When And Why To Slow Play A Great Poker Hand
- Free Poker Online Guide To Avoiding Destruction By Minding Your Outs