Millions of people around the world play pokers with countless different strategies. It is hard to identify your opponent’s tactics and skills directly. Yet, you can try a different approach to understand their tendency: spotting their poker playing styles.
This is quite a simple thing to do since there are only four common playing styles that you can encounter in any poker and game bai doi the play. Though they may vary in different individuals, you can still get the hang of your opponent’s characteristics and behaviors at a basic level. After all, the more you understand your opponents, the more advantage you can gain!
Before going deep into the analysis of common playing styles in poker, you need to be familiar with all the terms below:
- Tight: Playing only the best hands in a small fraction.
- Loose: Playing different hands.
- Aggressive: Players who have a tendency to raise more often than call and are willing to take the risks of losing money.
- Passive: Players who usually avoid confrontation and are afraid of losing.
While the “tight” and “loose” terms indicate the player’s selection of hands, the “passive” and “aggressive” terms dictate how you are going to play against those hands.
It is recommended that you carefully observe your opponents and categorize their playing styles during the pre-flop and flop. First, try to figure out whether they play loose or tight. If someone folds more often than not, mark him/her as “tight” and vice versa.
Second, keep an eye on how often your opponents take actions like call, check, raise, and bet. If a player happens to frequently bet and raise, categorize him/her as “aggressive.” On the contrary, a passive player is more inclined to check and call.
When encountering a tight-passive player, you can notice that he/she plays very few pots. When this player finds a favorable hand, he/she will tend to call pre-flop, rather than bets or raises. The general characteristic of this type is referred to as “weak-passive” since they are afraid of losing. Under almost all circumstances, tight-passive players usually have a good hand, but they earn very little or no profit.
It is easy to spot this playing style. If you see a player folds too frequently to aggression, it is very likely to be a tight-passive type. Here are some ways you can apply to counteract these players:
- Apply 3BB raise to steal the blinds if that player is in the blinds, and you are in the late position.
- When that player happens to make a pre-flop bet or raise, it is best for you to play strong starting hands only and fold the rest of the hole cards.
- Choose the checking strategy when you make a draw on the flop.
A typical loose-passive player tends to be a “calling station” who limps many pots only to see a flop. Although he/she remains in the play, you can see that this player hardly bets or raises. The general style of this player is to watch the whole game and let others take the risk while he/she just focuses on calling and calling.
The loose-passive style is hardly making any profit at all. Generally, when a loose-passive player hits the flop, they do not bet since they are afraid others will fold. But when missing the flop, that player will call bets even when the right actions should be to fold or to raise.
As this is a very weak category, you can happen to see this style in beginners in low buy-in games. When playing against these opponents, you should remember to avoid bluffing as much as possible since they will call your bluffs anyway. There are some other strategies to consider, too:
- If that player already joins the hand or is in the blind position, try to raise pre-flop higher than usual when you have strong hands.
- If that player bets, considering folding your medium-strong hands.
The tight-aggressive type is somewhat opposite to the tight-passive one. The players of this style tend to make few pots with their premium starting hands while frequently making a bet or raise. The majority of multi-tabling players belong to the tight-aggressive category.
Tight aggression is considered the most profitable poker playing style and a popular winning strategy, recommended by professional poker players worldwide. While it helps to minimize losses with the limited starting hands, the players of this type stand a higher chance of success thanks to their strong actions. They are willing to bet, but they are patient enough to wait for the best time to strike. Therefore, tight-aggressive players can win by either making their opponents fold or possessing strong holdings.
The tight-aggressive style is relatively readable. You can identify these players by looking at their manners and their tight hand ranges. While they are considered one of the strongest opponents in the games, you can counterattack them with these following tips:
- If you are in a late position, try to steal TAG player’s blinds when he/she plays tight.
- If the TAG player makes a pre-flop bet or raise, it is best for you to fold all except for the best starting hands. Play these hands as aggressively as you can, and remember to re-raise with AA, KK, QQ (or AKs and JJ sometimes).
- You can consider raising the continuation bets since the TAG players’ characteristic is to make continuation bets regardless of their holdings.
Loose-aggressive players are those who play many hands and have a tendency to bet on most flops and make pre-loft raises. This is a highly risky strategy, used by only the experienced poker players. If you find out about tournament pros, you can see that most of them are successful loose-aggressive players.
The characteristic of this playing style is to continuously impose pressure on the opponents to fold their hands even when the player has no strong holdings. The aggression can lead others to mistake that the loose-aggressive player is always bluffing. And as the players of this style make raises too often, they can go broke very quickly.
Compared to the other poker playing styles, LAG is also easy to identify, but these players are extremely hard to read on as they play a variety of starting hands. Therefore, combating LAG players seems to be a much tougher mission. Here are some tips to remind yourself when encountering these players:
- Raise your strong hands if a LAG makes a flopped bet.
- 4-bet bluffing during the pre-flop with your premium hands and speculative hands to put pressure on the LAG players.
- Tighten up your hands and wait for opportunities to come.
While there are four main poker playing styles, it does not mean that one player will stick to a single style for good. These styles have different advantages and disadvantages. If you have a thorough understanding of them, you can easily adapt yourself to the right type and take advantage to read your opponent’s characteristics.
On top of that, you should practice to gain better observations. Besides live poker games, you can attend online poker plays on popular websites, like https://vin88.vip/, for example.