Poker Strategy: Loose Aggressive Play
by Deke Marston
|As Omaha is a game of the nuts,
it's known as a game that rewards the tight-aggressive (TAG) players. This means that TAG
players tend to stick to their guns, and that can mean a loose-aggressive player can get
paid by taking advantage of their conservative style. Think you're able to handle the
volatility and variance and want to make big money? Lets look at how the LAG style
of poker play can make Omaha that much more profitable.
To play a LAG strategy well, you need to keep two things in mind: your position and the
tendencies of your opponents. Luckily, in a non-microstakes Omaha poker game, most players
are going to stick to a very tight style because they're hoping to play combo hands.
Dont bother playing mediocre hands out of position. You can, however, play a broader
hand selection, and you'll do it with a different factor in mind: fold equity. Fold equity
is the amount of money you'll gain when your opponents fold over the long term, even if
you're making riskier plays.
LAG players focus on fold equity more than almost any other factor. They look at their
opponents chip stack and know when and how to apply pressure. A player with a smaller
chipstack is going to be much less willing to push hard on a speculative hand, even with
position. A good LAG player can take advantage of this. In fact, if your tight-aggressive
opponent decides to continue playing after you've made an aggressive bet, that's fair
warning that you're likely dealing with someone who has something very playable.
Loose aggressive play takes some time to get used to. You should first look to get in on
multi-way pots with speculative hands, or be the first to raise pre flop. Avoid diving in
with complete garbage hands like Q372, and instead focus on playing and pressuring players
with those mid-range straights and flushes that are more common. Take the time to read
your opponents and figure out their betting patterns before you pressure them.
You should remember that a LAG strategy is very much a situational playing style. Weak
tight-aggressive players can be outplayed on later streets because that's where
loose-aggressive play works less. Remember that you're still going to have to deal with
calling stations and you should avoid them unless theres a chance to push the
If you're looking to play a LAG style in Omaha poker games, I recommend trying it in
situations where you're already forced to loosen your pre-flop starting hand range, such
as a Sit & Go Heads-Up tournaments or a six-max cash game. Take the time to find out
if the loose-aggressive style of play in Omaha works before you start investing real money
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