Over the last few years the landscape of the online poker world with operators such as Betway has changed dramatically. Where competent players once used aggression to their advantage, more measured play now seems to rule the day.
Back when online poker was still a new medium, the average player was incredibly tight and usually only made bets and raises when they had a strong hand. Competent players quickly realised this and worked out that the best way to exploit this tendency was to be as aggressive as possible. Through a combination of loose play, aggressive betting, and constant re-raising, the strong players eventually beat their opponents into submission and made a lot of money.
However, as the game has progressed, this strategy became well-known to the point where most players were confident enough to play aggressively themselves when they sat down at the virtual felt. To counter this it’s now the case that strong players are taking a more conservative approach when it comes to betting by doing it less and scaling down the size of each bet.
For example, most modern online poker players will now raise 2X or 2.2X the big blind pre-flop and will often only open with the top of their range (i.e. their best hands) from early position. However, a few years ago, it was the case that a standard opening raise would be 3X the big blind and strong players would often raise with their top and middle of their range (e.g. hands such as medium pairs and suited connectors).
In essence, the reason for the change in dynamics comes down to the old adage that “at the poker table it’s always best to do the opposite of what other people are doing”. Thus, because everyone has now become more aggressive it’s prudent to play tighter in early position, make your raise sizes smaller and look to call players down more with marginal hands as it’s more likely they will be bluffing.