The Importance of Control in Texas Holdem

When we're playing Texas Holdem it is important to bear in mind that we must have control. In particular we must have control when the opponent is trying to make the best decision possible after we have placed the opponent in a tight spot.

What's a tight spot? It is when we have put in a big bet in Texas Holdem and the opponent is left with trying to make sense of it. The question in the opponent's mind probably is why we made such a big bet. Is it just to scare or is it because we have a real winner? Being in this predicament, we are actually in control of the opponent.

Hence, we see the value of playing aggressively. With aggressive plays we always put the opponent in a spot where there's no option but to merely react to our bets. Even with weak hands in Texas Holdem, we can still keep the opponent guessing, and even making the same really worried especially when we decide to go all-in.

When the opponent has a better hand than we have and yet decides to fold because of our aggressive play, we have clearly controlled the opponent. We have controlled the opponent's decision in Texas Holdem, eventually beating the same. It's a most disadvantageous position in Holdem to not be in control of our own play and just dictated on by the opponent's play.

For instance, the opponent is left with a decision whether to call our $10 wager. What would the opponent decide on? Raise, fold, or call? And how does the opponent do it? Reluctantly? Quickly? Or nonchalantly? According to what the opponent does and how it is done is how we, in turn, decide to control the opponent or not in Texas Holdem.

Let's say the opponent raises. That gives us an impression that the opponent has a strong hand. The opponent has turned the table on us. Now, we're left with having to react to the opponent's bet. We're controlled at this point. Or probably, the opponent is just pretending to be ahead of us in Texas Holdem.

If we re-raise and the opponent hesitates, the opponent could just be bluffing. If the opponent calls after hesitating, there's a chance that the enemy hand is weak. However, if the opponent quickly calls, it may mean the opponent is brewing something substantial, like a draw.

Thus, in Texas Holdem, control is gained when we have forced the opponent to react to our aggressive play.