Playing LAG: Hand Chart
Okay, so we all know that playing tight & aggressive gives you the best shot to be profitable online, ect. ect. No debates there.
But sometimes I just get bored playing nothing but the premium hands, and I play a lot of live home games against a regular crew of guys, so loosening up and seeing more flops, I think, has some possible benefits.
For the sake of this argument, I'm talking about ring games, not tournaments.
So first, what advantages are there to playing loose, and is there a playstyle that we can adopt to maximize these advantages? And can we make some comments about what sort of hands we're willing to play against the usual TAGS?
I'll start with the first question I posed: What advantage is there to playing loose?
1) Implied odds
. If we can get into a flop cheaply, we may flop 2-pair,
a straight, ect. and we can really milk a lot of value when TAG players hit weaker (but still good) holdings.
2) Picking off C-bets. When flops come low, much of a TAG's range will miss that flop. However, a lot of tight aggressive players will C-bet anyways. And while you can still pick off C-bets while playing tight too, a check-raise will look more formidable when you may actually be holding something dangerous on the 865 flop.
3) Bluffing scare cards will look scarier to TAG opponents if they know we're holding a wide range of hands.
4) Players are bit more surprised when we're actually holding big hands like AA & AK if we've been playing 97 off suit all the time.
In this thread, I want to clear up what kinds of hands we're looking to play against the types of TAG opponents that frequent my home game. Obviously, suited connectors are great, and we're probably playing all but the lowest of them, but I wanted to bring up a few hands for discussion that I thought we should really think about playing if we're trying to maximize the advantages I spoke about above.
: This hand isn't as strong as 45s, since it only has the possibility of flopping 2 open-ended straight draws (a flop containing 56, or 25). So do we only play this hand on the button? Or just never at all?
: This hand loses the flush draw possibility, but if the flop comes [QJX], a K may help out our TAG opponent's hand, thus improving our odds of getting action. Or is KQJ(T9) just too obvious a straight, and we lose a lot of our implied odds?
& other suited spacers: This hand only has 2 open-ended straight draw flops (as opposed to 3 for connectors), but I think what this hand loses in a straight draw, it more than makes up for in implied odds. While a board of T98 just screams straight, it would be harder for our opponent to put us on a straight if a flop came T86. And better yet, are 2-gap suited cards in our range? Is 96s a playable hand?
: These hands are the typical beginner's trap hands. However, they do have the ability to flop some strong draws (A2-A5 & K9+ can make straights as well). Also, if we're playing A4, and the flop comes A49, we're likely to get a lot of action from AK type TAG hands. Also, these hands do help us avoid a bigger flush (a problem with the suited connectors). However, the temptation to play this for top pair will still be there, so would we lose more chips trapping ourselves with this hand, than we would stacking off with TAGs when we hit the flop hard?
I think that's enough for now, as this post is probably far beyond the length requirements of most members as it is.
So yeah, comments? Thoughts? I already know I'm way over-thinking this as it is, but I can't sleep, so why not spam up the forums with a bunch of rambling, right? And what's the harm in actually thinking through these sorts of things that you never really think through anyways?