What Is Aggression In Poker?
In poker, the term aggression refers to a player’s willingness to take control of the action by frequently betting and raising rather than just calling the bets of their opponents.
Being aggressive in poker means putting pressure on your opponent by making bets and raising rather than calling or checking.
Since it allows you to extract more value with your good hands or to win pots when you don’t have the best hand, aggression is one of the most important skills a poker player can possess.
Whether it be continuation betting when they have missed the flop or raising pre-flop with a wide range of hands, aggressive poker players always look for ways to keep or take the initiative in the hand.
However, it is important to use aggression selectively and in the right situations, as being too aggressive can also lead to losing a lot of chips if your opponents catch on to your strategy.
One of the ways in which players' aggression can be measured when playing poker online is with a HUD (heads-up display), more specifically, a stat called “Aggression Factor.” The aggression factor compares how many aggressive actions (betting and raising) a poker player takes for each passive action (calling).
Poker Aggression Example:
Let’s say you are playing in a $2/$5 cash game and have 9s Ts on a 7d 8c As board. The pot is $50. The preflop raiser makes a $25 continuation bet, and you decide to raise it to $75 with your open-ended straight draw.
In this situation, most players would only make a call, so your raise can be perceived as aggressive.
With this said, if you only make a call, there is a high chance that you can only win the pot if you hit a J or a 6 on the turn.
However, with a raise, you can win the pot immediately by forcing your opponent to fold. Furthermore, if your opponent makes a call, there is a high likelihood that he will give you the initiative in the pot on the turn by checking, and you will have another chance to pick up the pot with a bet.