This article can apply to life and poker.  My question to readers is this – How can we base what an aggressive or a passive approach is (in any situation) when we don’t know what the baseline or “standard” is?

To help understand this article better I guess we should define “standard”.

Standardused or accepted as normal.  “It’s standard to raise AA preflop” or “It’s standard that my girlfriend gets upset when I look at other girls”.


Let’s look at a couple standards in life quick:

1 – Standard speed limit on the highway is 65mph.

-If you know there are no cops around tho and you are in a hurry, you will likely deviate from the standard because speeding will help you accomplish your most current goal – Get the F to your destination.  If you are on the verge of going to jail if you get 1 more ticket, I’m sure most will stick to the standard speed limit because the main goal becomes – Stay the F out of jail!

2 – Standard answer when your girlfriend or wife asks you to do a chore in the house – “Yes, Honey”.

-If you know that just yesterday you got out of the dog house, you will likely make sure this gets done before she has to ask again.  <—Usually in this case your primary goal is to stay out of the dog house, so you will not likely deviate from the standard answer and follow-thru with the task (despite how lazy or preoccupied you are feeling).  On the other hand, if you are on a boyfriend heater and feeling frisky you may just say “Yes, Honey” because it’s the standard, but because your primary goal at the time is to beat this video game you may just forget about that silly little chore. 😉


Life and poker alike are all about taking risks that will help you accomplish short and long-term goals.  Depending on the other variables involved in a given situation, certain objectives may be more in the front of your mind then others.


It’s much tougher to list the Poker standards we currently have, but here are some thoughts:

Playing “standard” in poker isn’t always optimal, but knowing where the standard is has massive importance.  This becomes most obvious when you need to change gears.  Similar to speeding on a highway, if you don’t know what the standard speed limit is how can you adjust correctly if you see a cop?  During a poker game how can you adjust for passive players — standard (straight forward) players — aggressive players,  if you don’t know what speed or strategy this spectrum of players are playing?

-Example: A standard opening range for a straight forward player utg is likely to be 99+, AJ+, but for an aggressive player this opening range can be less standard and look like 22+, KT+, AT+.  In most cases it’s gonna make more sense to 3bet this aggressive utg raiser and expect more folds, whereas taking this same idea against the standard player will work less due to their tighter opening range, thus our “speed” is dictated by other variables.

Poker is all about adjusting your strategy to counter your opponents’.  It may make sense to play a very standard strategy in a game where everyone else is playing a bit too loose.  If everyone is playing the same strategy some games may seem like people are just passing chips back and forth.

As you progress along in the game of poker you will find that you encounter better players, who’ve researched the game as much as you, maybe more.  In these cases the standard play in a given situation can become predictable, so at this point it’s necessary to adjust your game around that standard.