Friday, 27th January 2023 08:14
Home / News / When should you play poker passively?

If there’s one piece of advice that experienced poker players give to newbies more than any other, it’s to play aggressively and not be pushed around.

Of course, when you say it you have to do your best Teddy KGB impression from Rounders: “Very aggri-aysive.”

But there are times in poker tournaments where it pays to play passively, and that’s one thing PokerStars School is taking a look at in this update.


  • When to play passively in poker
  • In Position Linear 3-Betting
  • More from PokerStars School

When to play passively in poker

Aggression usually pays off in poker but as Pete Clarke points out, we shouldn’t confine ourselves to an attacking style.

“The first thing we are taught is to avoid limping and calling down too wide – both passive lines,” writes Clarke. “But the teachings of tight-aggressive ABC play, and even loose-aggressive not-so-ABC play, often fail to explore the merits of checking and calling in certain spots.”

So, what are some of these spots where the passive line may be the best one?

Find out when to play passively here.

In Position Linear 3-Betting

“Linear 3-Betting means building a 3-Bet range from the top down,” writes Clarke. “Starting with pocket aces, we 3-Bet hands in a continuous procession down to the weakest hand we deem good enough to 3-Bet.”

In Clarke’s article, he focuses on playing a ‘3-Bet or Fold’ strategy from the HJ, CO, and BTN that is linear in structure and favours big cards.

“By tailoring our 3-Bet range around hands with one or more high cards, we can use blockers to maximize folds and reduce the number of 4-bets we’ll face.”

Improve your in-position linear 3-betting today.

More from PokerStars School:

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