How to Design an Optimal Poker Table Image For Maximum Profit
September 13, 2013 6 Comments
Achieving an optimal poker strategy requires you to develop a table image that will net you the most profit in the long run. Designing an optimal table image at the poker table is a necessity if you want to generate the maximum amount of profit you can from your poker business. What is the optimal table image to create? There are a variety of different factors that come into play, and this article will help you understand the fundamentals required to become a winning no-limit hold’em poker player.
What is a “Table Image?”
Your table image is the impression you give to your opponents at your table. Most poker players fall into the category of either tight, or aggressive. Common variations of the image include the TAG (Tight-Aggressive), and the LAG (Loose-Aggressive) player. These are the two most common styles that most poker players employ, and both can be played profitably. In order to achieve a maximum win rate at the poker tables, you will need to design a LAG strategy that confuses your opponents into making fatal mistakes.
Characteristics of The LAG
The loose-aggressive player capitalizes on their table image by never allowing an opponent to develop a “read” on their style of play. The LAG has an unpredictable style of play, and will switch gears very often. Switching gears requires an understanding of “table flow”, and how your opponents are reacting to your betting actions.
The LAG will play certain hands in certain situations differently against each individual opponent at the table. A solid LAG understands his, and also his opponents perceived hand range in each pot. A LAG’s perceived hand range includes everything from the stone cold nuts, to complete bluffs with air. On the contrary, a TAG will play rather straightforward ABC poker by betting when they have a hand, and folding when they don’t. This style of play makes the typical TAG extremely exploitable to any solid LAG.
How to Develop Into a Solid LAG
Developing into a solid LAG requires an extremely sophisticated understanding of the game of poker. For many beginner players, a LAG style is not recommended. For more advanced players, a LAG style is a necessity for recognizing maximum profit in the long run. TAG’s are able to win in poker games, but won’t win the most money possible. TAG’s play too predictable of poker to win as much as solid LAG’s.
To become a solid LAG, you must posses a variety of different traits. These traits include fearlessness, emotional balance, and a complete disdain for money.
Because of their super aggressive playing style, LAG’s will experience higher levels of variance in their bankrolls than TAG’s. The natural swings of the game will affect LAG’s more than TAG’s because LAG’s will be more open to risking money to win more money than TAG’s in the long run. Solid LAG’s are emotionally unaffected by short-term swings of poker games, and only focus on making +EV (estimated value) decisions in the long run.
To develop into a LAG, you must be willing to take big risks by betting your weak hands the same way you bet your strong hands. By doing this, you don’t give any information away about your hand to your opponents. You are applying the pressure, you are in control, and you have the upper hand. You as the LAG are putting the opponent at the big decision, rather than being faced with the big decision yourself.
Setting up Your Opponents to Make Fatal Mistakes
When you are constantly betting and raising, instead of calling and folding, you control the game. Often times, opponents will get “fed up” with your betting patterns and want to “play back” to shut you down. Becoming consciously aware of these situations can help you exploit opponents in pots they play against you. When you hit a big hand, your opponent won’t necessarily believe you “have it” because you are constantly applying aggression. A majority of weaker opponents will be more inclined to “look you up” to keep you “honest.” When they do, and you know they are going to, you can capture their entire stack, the main objective of no-limit poker.
Know When You Are Beat!
Not losing money is the same as winning money. Your opponents are going to hit big hands every now and then, and you must become aware of when they do. TAG’s will be easy to identify when they have a hand, but playing in a game with other LAG’s can create some marginal situations. These marginal situations are avoidable by not challenging other LAG’s in big pots. Save your money for situations against weaker “fishy” type opponents that you can exploit. Solid poker players understand that other solid poker players are looking for the easy target at the table. There is no reason to risk getting involved in pots with other strong players when you can exercise a degree of patience to wait for hands against weak fish.
Never Stop Learning
A major flaw that many winning poker players have is becoming too satisfied with their play. There is always room for improvement, and failure to recognize this will leave you behind the learning curve. You must be brutally honest with yourself if you want to become a top winner in the game. You must spend time analyzing hands you play to learn from your mistakes. You must be never satisfied with your results, because those results might give you a false impression of where your game truly stands.
Even though you might be experiencing a profit, this doesn’t mean you are maximizing your potential for profit. I can guarantee you that some of your opponents are working harder than you to achieve maximum profit potential, and you need to keep up with them, or eventually get beaten by them. No poker player plays “perfect” poker, but each and every player can work towards becoming as close as possible. Failure to put in the study time in the background will affect your win rate, and your bankroll. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are “good.” Improve each and every way you can, each and every time you sit down to play, and you will never short change yourself! 🙂