The advantages of playing loose-aggressive in no limit Texas hold’em
It always seems more exciting to play with and to raise with more hands in no limit Texas hold’em poker. To do so has a name attached to it and that name is loose-aggressive. If you remember who your toughest opponents were the last time that you played poker then most of you will be saying that it was those annoying players that were always raising and re-raising and calling your flop c-bets when you had nothing. So just how can we use this style optimally ourselves?
Keep your aggression pre-flop
The first step to playing good solid loose-aggressive poker in no limit Texas hold’em is to remember that you do not need to be loose-aggressive post flop. So you can have a loose-aggressive pre-flop game and a tight-aggressive post flop game. This allows you to build pots on your terms with the hands that you want to build them with. This is the first key step to playing selective loose-aggressive poker.
Have clear objectives when you rise
Many no limit Texas hold’em players who try the loose-aggressive style get into a hopeless tangle because they end up polarising their ranges post flop. They do this by continuing their pre-flop aggression as if they have to try and blast every opponent in every pot out of the running simply because they were the pre-flop raiser. This is not a very good state of affairs in no limit Texas hold’em.
So remember in no limit Texas hold’em that when you raise pre-flop then you have clear objectives for doing so that have nothing whatsoever to do with blindly continuing the aggression post flop. You raise to wrestle the initiative which is one reason. Another reason to open raise loosely in no limit Texas hold’em is to begin the process of pot building. However perhaps your greatest reason is to stay unpredictable by raising with a wider range than just the top 5% of hands.
Creating post flop mistakes
The two biggest errors that players make when they play no limit Texas hold’em is that they call when they shouldn’t (with the worst hand) and they fold when they shouldn’t (with the best hand or by missing out on bluff raising). So when you raise before the flop then you are trying to make your opponent play incorrectly post flop.
If your opponent plays correctly post flop then you do not gain. If you bet 7d-7c on a 7h-4s-2d board and your opponent folds then they have played correctly and you gain nothing. However had you bet Qs-Jd on that same board and they fold 3c-3s then you gain. Likewise if they held Qc-10c then you gain because had they known your hand then the best play is to raise you.
Do not lose sight of your goals
It is vitally important as a loose-aggressive player to not lose sight of your goals when you play in no limit Texas hold’em ring games. Remember that pot escalation can be restricted to pre-flop only. Also remember that you are raising for other reasons that have nothing to do with allowing the action to get out of control post flop simply because you were the pre-flop raiser.