Playing Against Fish
There are many types of poker players, and plenty of poker strategies to defeat them. In this article, we will focus on playing against fish. Fish are loose players who often go on to see the flop even with marginal hands.

Finding the Fish
You’ll find the fish easily enough by looking through the online poker lobby’s ring games. Note the viewed flop percentage. If you find something in the 40-50% range, there should be plenty of fish at the table.

Beating the Fish
When playing against fish, you need to apply a tight/aggressive poker strategy. Your tight game will ensure that you have  solid hand when you make a move, while your aggressive betting nature should eliminate all draw hands that could potentially go on to beat you.

One of the biggest mistakes players make when playing against fish is under-betting or over-betting the pot. The general rule is to bet 3-4x the big blind. But when playing against fish, they are more likely to call this kind of bet with a draw hand. Instead, you’ll want to toss a raise of 5-6x the big blind.

Slow playing a monster against fish is a terrible idea, because you’re giving them the opportunity to get that lucky draw that they needed. Pushing all-in will, at best, steal the blinds as everyone else folds out.  There’s not much value in this when you have premium holdings. At worst, you will get called by a better hand. You need to have enough time to read your opponents before risking everything on a single hand.

A raise of 5-6x the big blind should easily thwart draw hands from staying in the pot. The only ones you’ll have to contend with are players who hold strong hands to begin with, such as high pocket pairs or A-K/A-Q suited.

If you’re holding something like K-K and an Ace falls on the flop, note how many players continue the hand, and of course the strength of their bets. The less that continue, the more likely you are to hold the best hand thus far. If 5 players move on at a short-handed table, you’re sunk – get out and conserve your remaining chips.

There are only two times you should go all-in when playing against fish, and one of these should not even qualify if you are following this poker strategy. The first is when you have the absolute nuts, and cannot be beaten. Going all-in here is a safe move, but not the smartest unless you know your opponent “thinks” he has the best hand. Instead, slow-play the hand ad gather as many chips as you can.

The second acceptable all-in move is when you are short-stacked and need to make a move as soon as possible. Others will consider you weak just because your options are limited, but if you have the premium holdings, you should get at least one call to double up on. Then again, as we said above, this should never be necessary anyway, because if you find yourself short-stacked playing against fish, you need to go back to level one and learn how to properly apply a tight aggressive poker strategy (i.e. you should NOT be losing your stack while playing against fish!)

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