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In so many areas of life, it is good to be aggressive.  Too much aggressiveness can turn into aggression which poker players need to control. This is trickier than one might think!  Aggressive players are in control of the game but players who show aggression often lose control.

What is the Difference between Aggressiveness and Aggression?

Mainly, the difference is one of degree.  A simple example from the experience players have at Juicy Stakes might suffice to show the difference between aggressiveness and aggression.  Poker rake is the amount of money we take from every pot in order to be able to pay our bills and turn a profit.  Some players get aggressive when they win a pot and have some of the money go to the poker room.  At times, a player may show aggression toward the room.

Poker players need to be aggressive while playing but they don’t need to be aggressive toward the room.  This applies to poker in any room be it online or on land.  The aggressiveness we need to win at poker should never be directed away from the poker table and then only in the narrowest of ways: to win money.

Most players understand the need for a rake and, while they are also not happy about having some of every winning pot go to Juicy Stakes, they understand the necessity of the rake.  In addition, players who are okay with the idea of a rake also are aware that there is a maximum sum that we will take from any pot.

What Do the Professionals Say about Aggressiveness and Aggression?

Social scientists use terms like anger and violence to describe aggressiveness and aggression is simply a progression from anger and a tendency to violent action to actual violence.

These terms are not adequate to describe aggressiveness and aggression in poker.  We don’t try to do actual damage to an opponent.  We might try to hurt his or her self-confidence.  We play to win but we don’t play to win at the cost of everything that is valuable aside from winning.

In other words, aggressiveness in poker is a means to an end which is to win money.  The ability to channel our aggressiveness in the narrow range of actions that produce winning poker and to leave the same aggressiveness behind us when the game is over is the hallmark not only of a good poker player but of a mature adult!

The aggressiveness we need to win at poker can turn soft adults into hard ones.  So, it is extremely important for us to learn to control our aggressiveness for the singular positive of winning poker.  Aggressiveness is often a damaging emotion and quality in non-poker environments and can also be damaging in a poker environment.

The Aggression Factor

This term is being used increasingly in poker articles.  It is a measurement of a player’s bets and raises versus their folds.  In modern use, it refers only to the actions players take after the flop.  That’s because after the flop, players all know five cards instead of the two cards they know before the flop.

An Aggression Factor of 1 means that the player bets or raises as often as he or she calls.  A bet or a raise is seen as an aggressive move while a call is seen as a passive move.  It is true that some calls are aggressive in nature as they are used to trick the other players into adding money to the pot that the caller will ultimately win.

But, generally speaking, calls are passive while bets and raises are aggressive.

Many poker players and analysts believe that the Aggression Factor is the most reliable indication of the type of player one is.

Still, a true Aggression Factor can be determined only after many hundreds if not thousands of hands and we don’t often play hundreds if not thousands of hands against the same player.

In addition, a player can develop over time so even if we do think of a player as passive or aggressive, he or she might have changed their game so that they play much more evenly than they played before.

Controlled Aggressiveness

Instead of using a sometimes useful and sometimes not useful parameter such as the Aggression Factor, let’s look to develop in ourselves what we can call controlled aggressiveness.  If we are successful in producing controlled aggressiveness in ourselves, we can then see when an opponent demonstrates uncontrolled aggressiveness.

Uncontrolled aggressiveness almost always results in tilt.  If you see a player showing an unrestrained hostility, you might be able to stay in hands that could send that player over the edge into tilt.  In other words, we first have to get our own aggressiveness house in order and then, when we have done so, we can use our insights on aggressiveness to turn uncontrolled aggressiveness in an opponent into the kind of tilt situation that might mean more wins for us.

We should also do our best to avoid the kind of aggression that criminologists talk about.  We should play aggressively in order to maximize our winning hands.  We should play aggressively in order to intimidate a passive opponent into folding a better hand.  We should play aggressively in order to win more money.  But we should never show outright aggression toward an opponent.

Juicy Stakes Offers Great Poker

Playing online poker at Juicy Stakes is a lot more flexible and safe than playing at a land based poker room.   An angry and aggression-filled player on land might be a genuine danger to others while such a player can easily be kept out of games online.  All you need to do is leave the game.

We offer poker in many variations so every poker player can find his or her poker niche at Juicy Stakes.

Join Juicy Stakes NOW and discover a wonderful world of civilized aggressive poker! 


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