players are usually classified according to their level of aggressiveness. This
allows us to anticipate their strategies and counteract them, but it is
impossible to know what kind of game the opponent has in mind if we do not pay
attention to a series of aspects that give him away. We are talking about
tells, the body indicators that, consciously or unconsciously, are carried out.
these tells, we can try to predict what will be the next step of our opponent.
That, together with his style of play, can give us very valuable information
about how the opponent is approaching the hand. A good poker player knows how
to use that information to his advantage, but the first step is to know what
the main types of poker players are, and what they base their style of play on.
In this article, we are going to focus on TAGs.
A TAG, or
tight-aggressive, player is a player with initiative, aggressive and always in
the lead. He enters the pots aggressively with a preflop raise instead of a
call, a sign that he has the initiative.
a TAG player, we have to be prepared to throw our hands away more than once,
since it is always best to avoid direct confrontation when he calls or raises
preflop hand selection, along with an inherently aggressive style, is
what gives a tight-aggressive player away the most. It's a trait that is more
common in poker with sharks, the sharks who play aggressively and always come
on strong, taking advantage of the naivety of novices. Not all TAGs have to be
sharks, but they do have traits in common.
To say that
a TAG player is aggressive is like saying nothing. Obviously, from their
acronym we can deduce that they base their style of play on aggressiveness, but
TAG players have a very peculiar way of understanding poker games.
are to be feared, especially preflop. If they go, they go all the way, and
that's because they have a good hand. It's rare to see a TAG player show up at
showdown with a weak hand.
your odds well, because if the GAT has the numbers, you probably have nothing
But keep in
mind that this also favors TAG to modulate his game and bluff from time to
time. Bluffing while being tight-aggressive has the advantage that you are
already expected to be respected. "If we are on the river and this TAG has
not folded... you have to be afraid of him". Even though he may be
bluffing you by staying in the hand, he knows that he has caught you and
that that he imposes you.
usually make it easy to play... for those who don't want to take risks, of
course. Does the TAG fold? Go ahead if you have a project. Does the TAG stay
in your hand? You'll probably get beaten; you'd be better off
But if you
have a good project and TAG plays his postflop, if you can and they let you
have the cards: go all the way, at least to call it. That will allow you to get
valuable information Was he bluffing? How good was his hand really? Did he
take too long to talk to throw you off your concentration? Watching him
play can give you some very important insights into his play, even if he beats
you. And getting them, at least on one hand, will pay off.
also be the victim of a trap and the TAG starts his aggressive play
when you are already deep in the hand. Damage limitation is also a valid
strategy, even if time is not in your favor. If you lose, do it with a damage
limit and above all be aware of your defeat and why you have been beaten.
no shortcuts to suddenly become a tight-aggressive. That label is earned
through experience, developing a style of play, approaching strategies in a
certain way, and practicing and knowing poker inside out.
to insist on developing a way of playing is not ideal; rather,
look for a style that adapts to how you approach poker. Maybe a TAG's way of
playing doesn't fit your way of understanding poker, so why insist on being
one, when you don't understand it that way?
according to a poker star like Ed Miller has published in his personal
blog, there are several phases that a player goes through before becoming a
develops a whole series of steps, small thoughts and actions that lead to a tight-aggressive
approach to the game.
beginning of the path lies in: being aware of where you are on the ladder of
your evolution, knowing how much you still have to learn, and understanding how
you can identify the way your opponents think, read their tells and
interpret them appropriately.
everything starts by being selective with the hands that are played. The moment
the need arises to fold preflop if a hand does not bind, or to fold under
excessive pressure, it is something that marks the style that a TAG adopts.
Remember: a TAG folds preflop if his hand is not practically a guarantee of
point we can say that the maximum evolution of nit has been reached:
tighter preflop, more money postflop, but only with strong hands. An ordinary
nit can make money, but he has to play such a high number of tables that it is
not worth it in the short or medium term.
when you start flirting with the idea of bluffing. A semibluff with a decent
postflop project doesn't carry much risk. How to say no to that. That's
when the real tight-aggressive is forged. The rest, the way to approach the preflop,
the initiative and the way to hide his tells, is already part of the player's
personal style of play.
One of the
most common tips for those who want to improve their tight-aggressive style is
not to abuse bluffing. If a TAG's bluff is not effective, the player loses
respect for it. That's why the control of tells and the timing of bluffing
is crucial for a TAG player.
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