Aggressive Poker & Over-Betting Combo
Everyone knows that aggressive poker is better poker, but how can you improve your poker aggression? This two-pack looks at aggression from a conceptual point of view, and also in terms of a particularly-useful play; the overbet. Learn how to improve your aggression, some simple math to improve your confidence, and how to use the powerful overbet when both bluffing and value betting!
(These videos are available in the Red Chip Poker PRO Membership)
100% Poker Aggression
We all know that aggressive poker gets the money in No Limit Hold’em, but many of us still aren’t aggressive enough. This 30 minute video from James “Splitsuit” Sweeney is the complete remedy for everybody looking for more opportunities to take aggressive lines, both pre- and post-flop, in both value and bluffing situations.
This conversational-style video starts with some quick reviews on the definition of aggressive lines in poker vs. passive lines. The video makes clear that folding doesn’t necessary equate to passivity. Many players fold close to 80% of the hands they are dealt, but play very aggressively in the hands that they do choose to play. The video then reviews the point that aggressive actions are usually better than passive ones for our bottom line. It’s often said that nobody in Texas Hold’em ever has a hand, and because this is true, the aggressive player often picks up the pot.
It then moves to a discussion of ranges and how they differ in aggressive and passive situations, and shows a good example of why a range that’s behind an aggressive action is most often stronger and harder to play against than the range associated with a passive line. If you have never heard the term “capped ranges”, this example defines and describes it perfectly.
The video moves into a math portion – Sweeney is quick to admit that many players don’t care for the math-intensive parts of poker, but then demonstrates that the math behind many poker concepts is far from difficult. The math behind aggressive actions is not an exception – most of it can be done live, in-game, with a bit of practice.
Sweeney moves into reviewing the math behind a simple value decision – are we ahead of enough of our opponent’s range to make a value bet? How far ahead do we have to be before our bet is considered a value bet? How can we determine how far ahead we are? Can we count hand combinations via hand-reading? There is also an important review of the concept of continuance range – a concept that trips up many players. There is a big distinction between a player’s range before a bet and his range after he that bet (once he folds some percentage of the time). Value bets are determined from continuance ranges, not the player’s range before the bet.
The next part of the video covers the math behind a bluff decision – how do we determine how often our villain has to fold before we consider a bluff? (also known as a break-even percentage). In a common situation like a preflop 3-bet, determining the break-even percentage is an easy exercise and can often highlight situations where we can make an aggressive action and get enough folds to make a long-term profit, without even taking our own hand into consideration.
There is also a nice section in the video covering balance. With all this aggression that we stand to add to our games, we might end up playing in a very unbalanced way. Is this a problem? Sweeney will help assure you that balance is often not a consideration in the lower levels of poker.
The last part of the video talks about ways to study the game when trying to find spots to be more aggressive. Several common aggressive lines are given and should serve as a checklist to compare against your own game. Sweeney then gives an excellent tip as to a great source for finding new opportunities for aggressive play. In truth, this tip alone (right around the 23 minute mark) is worth the price of this combo all by itself.
This video starts by describing the situations to look for when an overbet might be the best play. James “SplitSuit” Sweeney points out that most players aren’t used to seeing overbets, and therefore might get confused by this non-standard play. Since confusion often leads to mistakes, you can quickly see how an overbet might become a better choice in the right situation.
So what are those right situations? Like every other type of bet, an overbet might be made both for value (when we have a strong hand and want calls from worse), or as a bluff (when we feel our hand has little showdown value but we could get players to fold better hands). But we all know that trying to get players to fold who don’t like to fold can be a fruitless, and expensive, proposition. So the video is quick to point out which player types you might target for each type of play.
On the value side, the most obvious type of player to bluff is the bad play, or fish. Fish don’t like to fold, and often don’t pay attention to bet size. If a fish is going to call any bet no matter what size, and you’re holding a strong hand, then why not go all-in and bet as much as possible?
What might not be as obvious, however, is that we can get regular players to call overbets for value in the correct situation, also. A good player that’s trying to deduce your holding may decide that an overbet on your part doesn’t represent many different types of hand combination, and therefore might incorrectly deduce that this bet is more likely to be a bluff.
Once the introductory material is out of the way, the video moves on to two example hands.
Pocket Aces vs. a Fish
In this hand, we’re holding pocket aces versus a bad player, who has already called a flop and turn bet. The river card pairs the board, leaving a final board of 2Q7T2. Watch as Sweeney goes into great detail outlining our villain’s range by the river. Since no straight or flush draws have come in on this river, we can conclude that much of our opponent’s holding must consist of top-pair type hands, which we’re beating with our overpair. Since our remaining stack is larger than the pot, we do have the option to overbet here. But is it the best play? Sweeney goes through a few different bet size scenarios to decide.
Low pair vs. a regular
In this hand, we call a raise with pocket fives versus a decent player and continue after flopping a straight draw on a 476 board. A king turn seems to slow down the villain when he checks, but he calls our attempt to take the pot. Again, Sweeney deduces logical holdings for our opponent after this check-call on the turn. When the front-door flush fills in and our opponent checks again, we may have a good spot for an overbet bluff. As with the value hand, several bet sizes are explored to see if the overbet is the best available play.
These videos will definitely help you add new tools and confidence to your No Limit Toolbox, and start making you both extra money on your strong hands, as well as getting some more folds when your hand strength alone isn’t going to win you the pot. Your purchase comes with an immediate download of both videos, so buy now and start improving your poker strategy today!