There is no fixed way to play a poker hand

Playing poker

A lot of inexperienced players become confused with regards to the type of questions that they should be asking when they are learning games like No-Limit Hold’em. For example, they ask questions like “how do I play a hand like As-6s when it has been raised by the cut-off and I am on the button”? Firstly, we cannot answer that with any one simple answer because a lot of what we do is based on how our opponents play and how good they are.

How likely they are to bluff post flop and how likely they are to fold post flop have a huge effect on our strategy with the same hand. For example, if our opponent is going to bluff a lot then we don’t need as much pot equity to bluff because their range will be so wide. So on boards like 7-7-4 rainbow then we can bluff more effectively here against an aggressive player than we can against a passive one that c-bets. Against a tight rock then I would be more inclined to fold to the c-bet.

Against a weak tight player though then we can call with the A-6s for a different reason. This is because our opponent will largely play a fit or fold style and we can call to win all of the pots where they miss. So when they raise pre-flop and we call then we can call their flop c-bet. They will likely check the turn and we can step in and bet and take the pot down.

However the aggressive player will not check the turn and will deduce that we are unlikely to be holding a seven and will barrel again. This is the difference between the two and we look to exploit the aggressive player differently with the same hand on the same board. The aggressive player simply fires more barrels while the weak-tight player gives up.

So we can certainly contemplate calling an aggressive player down with ace high but if they check the turn then we may have to bet the river so as not to lose to a larger ace or a weak pair that was being turned into a bluff. If we pick up some equity then so much the better but the lesson is clear in that we have to have a different plan of attack depending on who we are facing.

Like for example if we choose to 3/bet with the A-6s then the 3/bet is much more perilous against the aggressive player than the weak-tight one. The weak-tight player will call out of position and fold most of the time which are both weak-tight options and poor strategy hence why they are called “weak tight”. However the aggressive player will 4/bet or fold when out of position and not play in a weak-tight way. So we are far more likely to be 4/bet by the aggressive player and 4/bet frequently as well which makes 3/betting with A-6s much riskier.