Shorthanded play calls for playing more aggressively because the average hand here is not as strong as the average hand in full games since there are fewer players. This means some hands get bumped up in relative value, and can be played more aggressively in the shorthanded games. Here are some reasons for playing aggressively.
You hold A3o on the button in a 4-handed game. You open-raise and both blind hands call.
Your hand: A3o Flop: A-7-6 rainbow
They both check and you bet. Both of them call. Turn: 8
They both check again. At this point it is important not to be afraid of a check-raise by one of the players and keep on betting. You do not want to allow a lone 5 or 9 to see if they can make a straight on the River for free. Although you are not all that happy being up against a hand like 98 (a pair of 8's with a straight draw would give him 13 outs against your pair of A's), it would not be a good idea to allow a hand like that to see the River without putting in a bet, thus getting "infinite" odds (when you do not have to put in any bets and yet have a chance to win the pot). This situation is different from that of checking on the Turn with the intention of calling a bluff bet on the River. There are so many possible outs that your opponent can have. The strategy of inducing bluffs is best deployed when your opponent has fewer outs and he would likely fold if you bet on the Turn. In those cases, your check on the Turn is a ploy to lure him into betting a worse hand on the River after you had shown weakness on the Turn. This is not the case in this example. Here, most opponents with a straight draw will call. The looser players may call with an inside straight draw (with just a T or a 4) as well. So you want to bet on the Turn since you are likely to get called.
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