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Playing against TAGs

What is the best poker strategy against TAGs? This article concerns three decisions: Should you play with them? Where should you sit? How should you adjust your strategy?

So let's say you are sitting at a table at Titan Poker. Should You Play with Them? What should you do when a TAG sits down? That's easy: avoid him. If the rest of the game is good, keep playing, but minimize confrontations with him, and be much tighter and more careful whenever he is in the pot.

He is probably too tough for you. He may look like fun to play with, but he's got the edge, and it is probably going to cost you, perhaps a few dollars, perhaps a lot of them. If you get lucky, you may win, but it probably won't be much.

Reasons to play a TAG

1. The rest of the game is easy. If there are several weak players, of course, you should play. The TAG is not going to be in many pots, and you can beat the others.

2. You want to test or challenge yourself . You can do it for the sheer fun of it, to see how well you do against the toughest style. If the money is not important to you, and you love challenges, do it.

You might also be thinking of moving up, say, from NL100 to NL200 or higher. In general, games get tougher as you move up: the players are more skilled, tighter, and more aggressive. The higher you go, the fewer people stay for the flop or turn, the fewer hands go to the showdown, and the more raises occur on every street.

Playing with a TAG or two at your current level is a fairly inexpensive way to learn whether you are ready to move up. If you can't win with the advantage of having several weaker players in the game, stay where you are.

3. You want to learn from them. It costs money to learn any game, and you may have paid high fees for tennis or golf lessons. Poker players rarely hire coaches, but we pay for our lessons. If you want to improve, you pay "tuition" to the tougher players.

Don't sit down if the game is full of sharks, unless you are willing to pay a high price for your lessons.

Regardless of how easy the other players are, be very cautious with the TAG. Avoid him whenever you can. If he is in, don't play without a better hand than usual. Avoid one-on-one confrontations. If in doubt, run. Here is a good poker tip: learn by playing with a winner, but keep your tuition down by staying out of his pots.