Your Counter-LAG Strategy: Top 4 Tips for Playing and Winning Against Aggressive Poker Players

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Part of what makes poker such an exciting game is the variety of opponents you’ll encounter along the way. There are many different types of players out there, each with a unique playing style. You’ll never know what type you’ll be up against at each game—especially if you play poker online—but you’ll need to be able to adjust your strategy if you want to do well at the poker table.

It helps to read up on the different player types so you can adequately prepare for each match. In this article, we’ll talk about moves and strategies you can use against loose-aggressive (LAG) poker players. LAG players can notably challenge opponents, but not if you come prepared.

Understanding the Loose-Aggressive Playing Style

Before we dive into the practical tips, it’ll help set the context by defining a loose-aggressive poker player.

On the spectrum of poker playing styles, LAG falls on the riskier side. LAG players are called “loose” because they play a lot of hands—more so than tight poker players, who are more conservative with their hand selection. They are also considered aggressive because they tend to make a lot of raises and bets, even when they don’t have the best poker hands.

This playing style can be effective because opponents often cannot predict what type of hand a LAG player might have. Their loose nature means they could be bluffing more often than other players, which can add an element of unpredictability and intimidation to the poker table.

Playing Against LAG Players

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Now that you know a bit more about the LAG playing style, let’s check out some tips and strategies you can adopt and apply.

1) Expand your calling range to bluff catch them.

Playing a strong hand would be the easiest way to beat a LAG player. But those rarely ever come around. If you wait for them, you risk having your LAG opponent snap half of your poker chips before finding a right hand. In addition, your opponent would know you have a strong hand since you’ve been waiting for it.

A better, more efficient strategy would be to widen your calling range so you can catch your opponent on a bluff. You can expect LAG players to bluff often, so you must learn to use non-value hands to call those tricks when possible. That is, you need to play hands that may not be strong enough for value betting but are ahead of a chunk of combinations in your opponent’s range and therefore good enough to beat their bluffs.

This strategy might sound risky and make you uncomfortable initially, but remember that it’s better than potentially losing more while waiting for a monster hand to trap your LAG opponent.

2) Let them bet for you by slow playing your strong hands.

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LAG players like to bet a lot, and one way you can win is to use their aggressive tendencies against them.

If you are dealt a strong hand, resist the urge to go all-in or make big bets immediately. Instead, turn the bluff on your LAG opponent by checking or calling their bets and raises. Doing so will trick them into thinking you have a weak hand and likely motivate them to keep raising, re-raising, or bluffing. Thanks to their relentless betting, you can eventually go all-in at the final round and take down the pot, which would have grown significantly.

3) Intimidate them back by raising or re-raising their bluffs.

LAG players will try to win the pot at every round. That’s pretty much the point of their strategy of intimidation. They’ll likely keep raising and calling if they perceive other players to have weaker hands. But they might step back if you show them your own strength.

Throwing in your own bluffs is a great way to try and steal the pot for yourself, regardless of the strength of your hand. But that doesn’t mean calling or raising every bet your LAG opponent makes—that might lead to a poker disaster.

Instead, you’ll want to identify spots where their range is wide, weak, and has a lot of bluffs. If you find those spots, consider raising their bets in those situations to throw them off their game. If you do this well enough, you might successfully intimidate them into folding or at least rethink their strategy.

4) Change seats if you can or tables if the LAG players are on your left.

If you’ve played poker for a while, you’ll know that your position at the table is everything. Sitting next to a LAG opponent, particularly if they are direct to your left, puts you at a considerable disadvantage. This is because such a position puts the LAG player in the perfect spot to read your every move.

In this situation, getting anything done on the poker table will be hard. If you find yourself in position, consider switching to a better seat. Otherwise, it might be best to fold early and leave. After all, there will always be another poker table and game to play, especially if you play on sites like {{GGPoker}}, the world’s largest poker room, where games and tournaments run 24/7.

There you have it – the four tips and strategies for playing and winning against loose-aggressive poker players. Remember these for your next poker game, and you’ll be ready to take on even the most challenging opponents.