Poker software and the aggression factor.

How to use the Aggression Factor in poker software.

Okay the aggression factor (AF for short) in poker software is slightly more complex than VPIP and PFR because it is not based on a simple percentage. In fact, you need 3 actions to compute the aggression factor. The formula then is number of (number of bets + number of raises) / number of calls. What this means is that the AF measures a players proclivity towards aggression versus passiveness. So you are comparing the amount of times he bets and raises (aggression) to the amount of times he calls (passiveness).

This includes all kinds of post flop bets like c-betting or reraising, but there is only one type of call. So for example an AF of 1.0 shows that the player makes post flop bets and raises equal to the amount of times he calls post flop. Lets say over the course of a few rounds at the table your opponent has bet out 8 times, re-raised 4 times and called only twice after the flop. So his AF would be calculated as 12 div by 2 = 6.0. Well that is rather aggressive play but is it the entire story?

What does the AF really mean? Well most good players know when to be aggressive and will be playing with the common TAG strategy of always betting your good hands. So a high AF factor is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact you may be playing against someone who seems to be a nice mild mannered dude who just avoids confrontations for whatever reason. So if he checks and folds a lot (as opposed to calling), his AF is naturally going to be higher as a result – because remember you are measuring actions against one another.

A high AF is actually almost always better than having too low of an AF. That’s because calling in poker is weak and has no long term value. But think of AF this way, the higher that number is, the more likely your opponent is going to come out firing bets after the flop. That could be a good thing if you know you have the best hand. So for example if I have an opponent with a 6.0 AF, and I flopped a set, then I am probably going to check to that player and let him build the pot for me. Once he starts the betting then I will figue out a way to get the most out of him by calling or perhaps reraising myself.

On the flip side, if you have a hand that did’t get any help on the flop, and you have pocket 33’s on a flop of KcQhJd, then you will be turning your hand into a high-risk bluff here – if you choose to continue. Obviously this is not a good spot to get bet crazy. Just remember with AF and all of these other profile indicators – it doesn’t matter what kind of player you are playing against because you are going to get all kinds every single game, it only matters that you know what kind of player they are. In poker – if you know your opponent, you can beat him. Poker software helps you do that.

Now we have enough information to start profiling our opponents overall style of play. With AF, as opposed to just RAISING, we can now more accurately define a players overall aggression and use that on the Schoonmaker grid to create identifiable profile icons of our opponents. So with that, you will be able to make better decisions as to how to play against each of them and we’ll get into some of these specific profiles in the next video.
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