Best way to play vs aggressive players

You are better off on his left than his right.

That rule applies whether an aggressive player is loose, tight, or in between. If there are two aggressive players in the game, one loose and one tight, choosing a seat is a tough decision, one we could argue indefinitely. Let's just describe the effects of having them to your left and let you make your own decision. Let's assume that you have not spotted a telegraph about their intentions.

If the loose-aggressive player is to your left:

  • You will be raised much more often because he raises with weak cards,
  • You will be much more tempted to call the raises because you have less to fear. You may call raises with marginal hands (which you should not have played at all with a LAG to your left). You may then lose lots of money on hands you never should have played,
  • You can slow play and check-raise much more easily because the LAG will bet and raise with much weaker hands,
  • You will be bluffed much more often, but less skillfully, making the decision to call more frequent, but less difficult,
  • Your swings will be much larger. You will win more when you are lucky, and lose more when the cards go against you.

You will be raised much less frequently because he won't raise without a good hand for that situation. You will be less tempted to call the raises because you know they are based on good cards. You may fold marginal hands, reducing your loses on them.

You cannot slow play and check-raise as easily or as often because the TAP will be more aware of your hand strength. You will be bluffed less often, but more skillfully, which makes your decisions less frequent, but more difficult.

Your swings will be somewhat smaller; but you will probably lose more over time. Since LAGs are losers, while TAGs are winners in general, you are giving the toughest player the added edge of position over you. You can probably beat the LAG even when he has position on you, but the TAG is going to beat you, and he will beat you more with good position.

You really don't want either of them on your left. If you have to choose, think carefully, but get a seat change button. As soon as possible, get a better seat.

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