Poker Playing Styles (Part I)
Let us talk about the types of poker players that you would encounter while playing your cards. However, a few simple notes identifying your opponents style, will increase your chances of placing in the money ten fold.
There are 4 kinds of poker players:
What is this "loose" and "tight" all about? Well, it is definitely not the type of clothes that players wear while at the table! These two little words are of great significance. They refer to the hands that are being played. "Loose" refers to a player who plays a wide range of hands. "Tight" refers to a player who is choosy and plays only good hands.
The other pair of opposites "passive" and "aggressive" reflects the styles of betting. A "passive" player generally calls and stays at the safe side by not raising too much. An "aggressive" player is a master of betting and dares to raise the pot. Aggressive players force action.
Let us see what each player tends to do at the table. Once you know what kind of players are there on the table, it would be easy for you to throw your trap.
Loose-passive players are "amateur" players. These poker fish play a variety of starting hands and hardly fold before a flop. They tend to check-call after a flop using hands like ace high or middle pair, sometimes even low pair. Do you know what they are often called in the world of poker? "Calling stations!"
When you bump into an "amateur", the most important thing that you should likely do is wait patiently for a good hand, bet preflop and continue to bet on the flop. However, do not bet too much or else you would frighten them out. The best way to reel in amateurs is to make a standard preflop raise (3 to 5 times the BB, depending on the blind size) then continue to bet after the flop, after the turn and the river. Remember, you're not trying to bluff amateur players; make sure to have a hand before you make a continuation bet.
On the flop and turn, if you make a continuation bet, bet ½ - ¾ the size of the pot. Put them to the "test". Besides this, you should be choosy while picking your "prey". An amateur might call you down with mid or bottom pair. Don't make it cheap for them to call. And remember to take notes and recognize these players.
Loose-aggressive players are "maniacs". A maniac would leave you broke if you don't apply the right poker strategy. The wisest thing to do while facing a maniac is to be patient and understand the moves of this player. Be semi-aggressive and a bit passive while playing a maniac.
For example, maniacs usually play bad starting hands; sometimes they even raise with junk hands. When they hit, nobody knows what exactly to do. And that is the reason why maniacs are dangerous players.
Suppose a maniac calls for a pre-flop raise along with 2-4 off suit. The flop arrives: A-3-5. Let's say Player X is holding A-K and obviously thinks he's got the best hand. The river is a 10 and the turn card is a King. What happens next? Well,
Player X loses a stack of chips and starts calling the raises thrown by the maniac. A big mistake he does. Now, Player X is at the mercy of the maniac who breaks him like anything.
How to beat a maniac? You have to wait to grab a strong hand. Once you identify the maniac, take notes. The maniac's weakness is: he or she hates being "bullied" or "raised". Also, maniacs are generally devoted to the pot they have raised.
Hence, the best way to beat a maniac is to get a strong hand and make small bets. This would lure him to bluff. Once this happens, he or she will make the wrong move and you will be there to grab his or her chips! If the maniac ends catching a
hand and becomes lucky, you'll only lose a small amount of chips, because you controlled the size of the pot by making small bets.