Loose aggressive players tend to play a lot of hands, and they tend to play them strongly. This can vary quite a bit from player to player. For instance we have the loose player who likes to bet more often than calling stations would, right on up to the maniacs who will fire off bets and raises with pretty much anything.
So while all player types have degrees that we must consider, these degrees vary more with loose aggressive players. So when we look at how to best play against them, we’ll particularly be looking to take this into account, and the looser or more aggressive a player is, the better our default strategies against this type of opponent will tend to work.
So as our starting point, we have the element of aggressiveness that we dealt with in looking at tight aggressive players. Loose aggressive opponents can be even more aggressive though, depending on the player, and often will fire off bets and raises with less regard to position. So we will have cases where we both have position on the opponent and are dealing with a lot of bets into us, where we can either punish them by raising, or just smooth call for now and look to extract more money out of them that way.
There’s a good reason why you need to be more careful when firing out of position, and one of them is that you can give away too much information. These players do tend to do that a lot, for instance betting better ranges than they check.
So we look at their frequencies for leading out, and generally will be looking to extract value with better hands if their ranges are too wide, which they often are. What we definitely want to avoid though, and this is true against any aggressive player, is to end up folding too much and thus rewarding them too much for their aggression.
It pays to remember that we have as good a chance to hit our hands as they do, and if we’re playing tighter pre-flop than they are, which will generally be the case against this type of player, then we have the advantage here as far as our average expectation of hand strength. So we certainly don’t want to roll over to them, especially when in position.
As a general rule, the more aggressive a player is, the more you want to let him be the aggressor. However you do want to pay close attention to what prompts them to get the most money in, and with a tight aggressive player for instance that would be with their taking the lead, as if we play back or take the lead when we have value, they are more likely to fold their weaker hands, which we generally don’t want.
If we don’t have a good hand then of course that’s a good outcome for us. With looser players who are also aggressive though, they tend to call more as well, so it’s then just a matter of comparing their betting and calling rates, and often times it’s actually better for us to do the betting if that has them putting more money in the pot when behind. So we need to look primarily at whether the player is looser than he is aggressive or vice versa, and then look to primarily take advantage of which tendency is more prevalent.
When we’re out of position against this type of player, if they are more loose than aggressive, we may be able to profitably lead out with some good hands and get them to call along. If they do a lot of raising in position though, we’re going to need to temper this, in addition to being able to get away with this less if they are more observant.
Sometimes these players can’t help themselves though, and if they really hate to fold, this may not even matter. To the extent that someone will let us get away with something, even if it’s fairly transparent, we need to keep working the tactic until they give us a good reason to back off. Since loose players generally prefer to stay in hands, we’ll use this against them whenever we can get away with it.
Given that these players do like to bet fairly widely as well, it’s very often best to check to them out of position and let them do it. Unless they are a maniac, they will check back a fair bit, and unless they are pretty savvy and are balancing things well, this will generally give us some information we can use, as well as getting free cards.
Loose aggressive players though are more prone to bet when they have something, and are less likely to check back good hands for deceptive purposes. We do want to be careful, against the better of these players, not to just fire out the next street when they check back, as their increased aggression makes it more likely they will raise us in this spot, and also more likely they will do the betting for us.
They don’t like to check generally, and really don’t like back to back checks. So when that happens, that’s usually even more information that we can use. You don’t want to throw fold equity completely out the window here, but it’s certainly true that the looser a player is, the less you’ll be relying on that, and the more you will be using value to take their money. Some people think that you should never bluff these players though, which is a mistake. It’s true that the bluffing opportunities will certainly be less, and the looser they are, the less often you can get them to fold better hands.
When looking at these categories, both elements provide opportunities for exploitation, we should also look at them separately. For instance, in this case, they both don’t fold enough (loose), and may bet too much (aggressive). I say may here because if we play too tight against them, then their aggressiveness will be correct. So we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. In fact the only big way to screw up against this type of player, other than to play even looser than they are, is to play too tight. So if we can avoid the temptation of folding too much, and other than that just play good cards, we shouldn’t have too tough of a time getting their money.