Contrary to misinformed belief, the small element of luck that intertwines into the poker game isn’t significant enough to produce amateur players who can compete with professionals. There are many aspects to the world’s most popular card game that can elevate your level of expertise, especially within online games where a physical presence is absent.
For poker beginners, you can advance your bankroll by utilizing offers such as the FanDuel Sportsbook bonus found at TheRX.com, when you approach the game from an amateur standpoint, it’s imperative to make use of any bonus available. However, to truly develop your skills to the next level, you must understand the multiple poker playing styles.
There’s no better way to practice the different poker playing styles than by observing the tendencies of others. This approach is a primary factor of poker success. Much like professional sports, learning your opponent’s game plan will define your chance of becoming a winning player. At a professional and semi-professional level, every move made has a meaning. Why did player X just raise or call? Paying attention will be critical when not in hand (most of the time) to learn how the opposition behaves and acts.
Depicting Poker Player Styles
There are two approached methods that depict a player’s style of poker, tight versus loose and passive versus aggressive.
- Tight players will play a small amount of the best hands
- Loose players will play a large variety of hands.
Being tight or loose doesn’t always define how somebody plays their hand, but it does reveal the selection of hands they play. They’ll play a tight range of hands or a loose range of hands. Their choices with those hands (passive or aggressive) will determine how you play against them.
Passive and aggressive styles are depicted through a player’s risk tolerance.
- Passive poker players will evade showdowns and play with a fear of losing
- Aggressive poker players will frequently raise more than call and aren’t afraid of losing chips
Observing these patterns can reveal what type of opponent you’re up against, and you can then categorize the table based on what you see. Each player you are faced with will own these factors to some extent. Determining if the player is tight or loose is a great place to start. If they fold most hands – they are tight. If they call most hands – they are loose. You can then focus on whether they’re passive or aggressive. They are passive if they call and check but rarely raise & bet. If they bet and raise – they are aggressive.
Poker Playing Style Combinations
Once you’ve updated your knowledge on the playing style basics, you can begin to raise your awareness of style combinations.
- Tight Passive
- Loose Passive
- Tight Aggressive (TAG)
- Loose Aggressive (LAG)
These characterizations are slightly broader and will assist you in understanding what a player has based on his betting action for each hand. If a loose-aggressive player is calling and raising, you will not expect a good hand every time, whereas a tight-passive player raising and re-raising usually show a sign they have a strong hand.
Tight Passive (Rock/Nit)
Tight-passive players don’t involve themselves in many pots and often call pre-flop when they possess a decent hand. Their plays are usually readable, and when they do play, the entire table will fold, knowing they wouldn’t be involved without a decent hand.
Labelled as a ‘rock’ or a ‘nit’, they’re known as the weakest players at the table. Bluffing comes easy with a tight passive poker player as they’ll regularly fold to intimidating board cards like aces. Poker isn’t a game for the timid, and this style is where they reside.
Loose-passive players carelessly call on most hands. They will call on raises just to see the flop and will usually remain in the hand because of the chips expended during the pre-flop. They take chances because of their early loose approach and soon turn from passive to aggressive with “calling stations” nickname.
Despite calling frequently, they won’t be easily bluffed. They are apparent to spot, but when you hunt them out, milk them slowly.
One of the most desirable styles is the tight-aggressive; these players avoid most pots but go hard with excellent starting hands. They are incredibly selective, and unlike tight-passive players, the hands they play will be supported with plenty of chips.
The most proficient and dangerous tight-aggressive players are known as ‘sharks’ because the style is practical, regardless of the game’s variation of the betting structure.
Finally, the loose-aggressive player likes to raise and re-raise throughout plenty of hands pre-flop and will tend to bet on most flops. They are, however, the most difficult to read because they’re involved in so many hands.
With that said, the extreme loose-aggressive player known as a ‘maniac’ will raise and call with complete disregard. This overplaying style will assist you with a lot of profit.