How to adjust against TAGs

How should you adjust your play when you are facing a TAG? The following concepts are both difficult and essential because they are such tough opponents.

Don’t play unless you are at your best. This point is related to the general advice to avoid the TAG. Since they are so tough, don’t play against them if you are the slightest bit on tilt, distracted, short of money, or anything that harms your game. You would not play golf for money against the club champion when you’ve got the flu or your back hurts; just apply the same principle to poker.

Mix up your game. Being predictable is always a weakness, but it can be deadly with them. They read cards well and will push whenever they can. If you don’t mix up your game, they will soon learn how to read you, then beat you mercilessly. And mix up your game randomly rather than try to use your judgement against someone with greater judgement than you. For reference read about game theory in Getting The Best of It and The Theory of Poker both by David Sklansky.

TAGs are found anywhere at online poker rooms. For example if you take a bonus code titan poker and register at the leading Playtech poker room, you will be confronted will all sorts of poker players, including TAGs. This is why you must know how to dominate them.

Make fewer pure bluffs, but be willing to semi-bluff. It is usually easier to bluff good players than bad ones, but TAGs study players intensely. They read tells well, and they have enough confidence in their skill to call with weak hands. Of course, that is just a general principle. Perhaps this TAG can’t read you. Try him out a couple of times, and follow the principles of sold poker. For example, bluff early if the board is all small cards since they are not apt to play them. If your bluffs work, fine. If not, you’ve been warned.

Don’t bet marginal hands for value. There are four reasons. First, a TAG would not be in there without good cards; he may well have you beat. Second, if he has a better hand, he will probably raise. Third, if you have him beat, he will probably fold. Fourth, TAGs can make plays that cause you to make mistakes. You’ll save money over time by checking marginal hands.

Finally don’t raise without a great hand. The same logic applies to re-raises. He may have you beat and reraise. If you have him beat, he will often fold. Follow the same rule you would apply to a rock, but be even more careful because of the danger of a reraise.

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