Top 7 Signs You’re a Poker “TAGfish”

Everyone knows today's online games are heavily populated with tight-aggressive players (otherwise known as TAGs).

But to go along with these good, money-making TAGs there's a growing number of break-even or slightly losing regulars known as "TAGfish."

On the surface, it may be hard to distinguish a TAGfish from a winning regular. He buys in full, tops up every hand, has decent enough stats and plays what he thinks is good poker.

But he can't seem to win. And that's because there's more to poker than having good stats.

Poker is a thinking man's game; you can't just imitate what you've read and become some money-printing robot. You have to be able to apply what you've learned and make good decisions each time the action is on you.

A TAGfish doesn't. He just plays the same game all day, every day no matter the situation. And he perpetually loses/breaks even, thinking he's the most unlucky player on the face of the earth.

How to Tell If You're a TAGFish

1) You Think About Your Opponent's Range but Never Your Own

tagfish poker

Everyone knows you have to try to put your opponent on a range. It's one of the most fundamental skills in poker.

But a TAGfish doesn't think about his own range in doing so.

An opponent is going to play the hand a few different ways according to what he thinks you have.

You'll never be able to accurately put your opponent on a range without first thinking about your own perceived range.

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2) You Misapply Skills You've Learned

A TAGfish tries to learn to play better poker. He watches videos, read articles and studies the game extensively. But he misapplies the information he's learned.

He'll learn that continuation betting and giving up is bad, so he'll just fire every second barrel.

He'll learn that to exploit players that c-bet too much you can float the flop and take away the pot on the turn, but he'll float with pure air instead of gutshots or hands with backdoor capabilities.

He'll learn that three-betting light is profitable, but he'll do it regardless of his opponent's three-bet calling frequency. And he'll do it with the wrong hands.

He only learns half the skills. He knows what to do, but then misapplies when he should be doing it and who he should be doing it against.

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3) You Call the Same Range in Cut-off and On the Button

A TAGfish treats the cut-off and the button as the exact same position.

If an opponent raises from early position, he'll call in the cut-off with 69 thinking it's perfectly fine because he'll be playing the pot in position.

But that just isn't the case. You've still got one more player to act behind you and if he's any good, he can make your life a living hell.

That player can three-bet with impunity whenever you call with your weak, speculative hand, he can call and steal your post-flop position and he can punish you after the flop.

Where good TAGs abuse the button, a TAGfish allows himself to be abused by the button.

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4) You Overestimate Your Implied Odds

what is a TAGfish poker

A TAGfish thinks every time he makes the nuts he's going to win a stack. He thinks if he calls from the blinds with a pocket pair and nails a set, he's going to win an opponent's whole stack every time.

So he calls with his speculative hands post-flop, check-folds when he misses and, when he finally makes that huge hand, he makes his opponent fold.

He bleeds all his money trying to hit that hand and then when he does hit, he never makes that money back.

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5) You Have Leaks Post-Flop

A TAGfish typically plays fine pre-flop. He has that part of the game solved to a degree.

He knows he can't limp Q9o upfront and expect to show a profit. He knows AK needs to be raised for value, etc. But once the flop comes, his mistakes start to compound.

Knowing when to fold pre-flop is easy. But knowing when to ditch top pair, bad kicker isn't. Knowing when to double barrel and when to triple barrel is hard.

A TAGfish plays his own cards too often and the situation and his opponents not nearly enough.

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6) You Look at Each Decision as a Separate Entity

stop being TAGfish poker

A TAGfish gets caught up in a tough decision and thinks, "Man, this spot sucks. What the hell do I do?"

Really, it's not what he just did that put him in that spot; it's what he did earlier in the hand.

He doesn't have a plan in mind for the hand. He just acts and figures it out from there.

He plays reactive poker instead of proactive poker.

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7) You Tilt Too Much

A TAGfish doesn't tilt in the true "five-bet ship 58o" sense of the word. But when he's losing, he definitely doesn't play his best.

He rushes decisions. He slips into auto pilot. And, worst of all, he plays far too long. A TAGfish loves trying to get unstuck and will play all day trying to get unstuck - all the while playing C-game poker.

Yet when he has a winning day, he'll quit early and play small sessions, booking a small win.

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TAGFish Syndrome is Curable!

If this sounds a lot like you, don't worry. TAGfish syndrome is curable.

The answer: concentrate on making the best decision every single time the action is on you and take your time. Sometimes the best possible play won't come to you right away.

But if you do your best to think about the benefits of each possible decision, you'll be making more good decisions and less bad ones. If you want to win more money - and stop being a TAGfish - that's exactly where you need to start.

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2017-04-02 20:48:16

AA < AQ, AK, AJ, AT, A4 KK < AQ, QQ, JJ, TT, QQ < JJ, AK AK < AQ, A9, A4 etc did not play any of those badly but still lost - while not bad beats enough to skew variance!

Ethan Meyers
2016-11-30 16:16:17

Thanks for the post! I needed to realize where I stand, and I have a few TAGfish qualities – namely not thinking about my opponents thoughts on my hand, and my post-flop game isn’t on par with my pre-flop game. Hopefully change is abound and I’ll start getting even better results!

Jack Brian
2016-10-28 14:35:11

i dont get it

Wilson Yomso
2016-10-21 03:43:48

FUCK ! I am a TAG FISH !!! :((

2016-07-16 15:30:08

My thoughts exactly. I build a reputation of winning every hand I raise then bluff.

2016-07-16 15:29:12

I generally promote the notion I am a tight aggressive player by being tight aggressive for the first wins. After my reputation is established and I have capital, I bluff more and they still think I’m a tag. They assume I have something after a while. Then someone will catch on, but at that point I already took so much of their cash they can’t break my bank.

2015-11-18 11:21:15

The best method is to alternate from extreme tight say 5 bet with only aa-qq-jj-10-10 in position to playing hands like 9-10 off 45 56 suited and the just flat calling with ak utg. This makes post flop way easy because you need the goods to continue on it’s not that hard. with 9-10 the best combo is j-8-5 non suited. The bigger cards you need junk flops like j-5-4 or set’s with your overs. It’s not really that hard say you have kj utg decide to just call which I often do and flop j-5-9 you may be good a check and call is your best method if the turn comes A king or jack or ten then you have odds with the bonus of your hand being good now. Playing the 56 suited utg limping in and confusing your opponents is the way to get paid off they will be confused when you limp in with kj-56 ak and raise with qq-ax suited they won’t have clue allowing you to be a tag fish and check the flop,turn and just call with the illusion of weakness while other times you bet strong with sets. There is nothing wrong with being nitty a bit if it’s a flush board and you have ak-top pair ace and face a big raise on the turn maybe forget it and dump it! Just wait to flop a set of 4’s in 5 hands from now or maybe 10 hands be patient. From all I have read about poker great players seem to play with multiple personalities from weak tight ,Tag to maniac it’s a random cycle and is using perception and luck. Only using one is bad using all of them is great saying I used to be this way is stupid i’m of all em even a donk raising with 9-3 off and flopping stuff like 33-5-k-6. It really holds true by allowing you to bluff in hard spots and take down pot’s unless your opponent has the undetectable set. Poker is a manipulation game say you flop 3-9-A with pocket 33 check it sometimes and other times bet strong never always do the same thing sometimes just flat call on the button with aces other times shove all in. Randomizing your game makes you undetectable. Say you raise it up with 5-6 suited and get re raised by a-q just call it’s so easy. The differential from his hand range and your dictates an easy fold when you whiff the flop and allows you to check the 4-7-8 flop to his overs. Poker is way more advanced these days and the only fish are people who think aces are good and suited cards can be helpful when they don’t even understand short term probability theory.

2015-07-05 01:23:11

you’re a fish for thinking calling 6 9 sooted in the button is acceptable in anyway.

2015-06-21 08:44:20

I can’t really claim to be a Tagfish any longer, but I used to be when I started, as I would do pretty much everything that you mentioned. Mostly only playing premium hands, and then wondering why people folded when I bet out after hitting them. Already had an image of being tight, so not a surprise really.

These days I’m only going to stick to being Tight-aggressive on new tables where I don’t know anybody. But you need to ascertain their styles of play very quickly if you want to get anywhere. It’s definitely worthwhile knowing what your opponents think you have, as that will be the first step to not over-betting the situation, and chasing them away. If your hand CAN be beat by more than one card, you need to consider very carefully, your options.

2014-07-26 00:59:44

I’m starfish, I suck but guess self honesty important

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