Poker Personalities | Poker Player Types | Poker Personality

Poker Personalities

When you play at a poker table, there are several different types of players that you may encounter. A player may be tight or loose. They may be passive or they may be aggressive. Each type of player has his strengths and weaknesses.

Tight-Passive

The first of the poker player personalities that you’ll likely encounter is the tight-passive. This is a typical type for a beginning player, as they are quite scared and often don’t wish to make the first move. These players will almost never bluff, so the rule with a player like this is to avoid bluffing. Only raise if you have a hand to back up your bets. You’ll almost always find players like this in fixed-limit rooms, rather than pot-limit or no-limit rooms. The one thing to keep in mind, particularly if you’re playing in low-limit rooms, is that these players are often fairly new to the game, so they may overvalue their hands. They may act confident when they only hold a single high pair. However, since they are confident about their hand, you are unlikely to raise them to the point of folding, so you should be confident about your hand before you decide to get into a raising contest with one of these players.

How to take Advantage: These players are the easiest to steal pots from. For this type of player a continuation bet strategy will work best with them. If you raise pre-flop and they remain in the hand, a continuation bet on a non threatening flop should win you the pot. If they call, you can be sure they at least have a pair. Another good play against this player is the check raise if you think they have a mediocre hand. They will typically read this as strength and fold.

Tight Passive Warning: Since these players rarely raise, it is sometime difficult to tell if they are on the nuts or just a strong pair. It is not past this player to check call all the way until the river after flopping a monster hand such as a full-house or flush.

Loose-Passive

Another type of player you will likely meet in the lower value fixed-limit rooms is the loose-passive. This type of player, also known as the ‘calling station’ will simply call pretty much every bet. When you have one of these, you should enjoy the pot they generate. Be aware, however, that they will fold if you raise too much and they really don’t have anything. Usually these players really want to see the flop. They don’t realize that in real money poker, sometimes seeing the flop is too costly to be worthwhile. Sometimes, they’ll keep calling in the hopes that the turn or the river will show them some mercy, even if they have nothing or a gutshot straight or a low pair. Remember with these players that re-raising will probably make them fold, while a single raise at each round of betting will keep them padding your pot. Of course, if they’re still hoping for that gutshot on the river, making them fold after the turn might not be a bad idea.

How to take Advantage: This is arguably the easiest player to take a lot of money from. Since they are passive, they rarely raise, re-raise or even bet big. This allow you to dictate the action. For this player, you will want to keep the pot relatively small pre-flop unless you have a monster hand QQ or better. This is because a raise will not get you a lot of information, since they will call raise with nearly any two cards, especially if they are soooooted (sic). However, if you flop a monster, bet hard and watch as their stack comes your way. In addition, this player will allow you to bet into your own draws, which allows you to basically name your price to get the appropriate odds. When you hit, you can be sure they will commit a lot of chips on a marginal hand.

Loose Passive Warning: This players is one of the hardest to bluff for no other reason than they suck. This player is either a newbie to the game or just an old school gambler. In either case they give very little consideration to what you might have. This can tend you get your hand caught in the cookie jar if you try to steal the occasional pot from them. This is especially true on larger pots. This player is so easy that it is not necessary to bluff them to beat them. Just bet when you have and make big bets on the river. Again, they will pay you with even marginal hands.

Tight-Aggressive

When it comes to the aggressive poker personality types, the tight-aggressive often seems fairly easy to play against. When the tight aggressive has nothing, he folds immediately. When he has a good hand, he stays in, bringing up the pot as quickly as possible. If a tight aggressive begins doubling the pot, everyone else immediately folds out, so a good player will never play that way. A good tight aggressive will make himself look like a calling station or will make slight raises. A mediocre tight aggressive is nothing to fear – simply fold as soon as he starts raising unless you have an excellent hand yourself. You’ll undoubtedly lose a few low-paid hands to bluffs, but it is better than losing a bundle to winning hands.

How to take Advantage: As we said, these players can be easy get a read on simply by betting. For this player, it is best to simply stay away from them unless you have a read. This player will occasionally bluff, but it will be so rare, that it is not worth playing sheriff with. This player is one of the hardest to make money off of, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best way to play. One way to get this player off his game is to show a small to medium bluff with a terrible hand. Then immediately tighten up. If you maintain a loose image, but in reality play tight. You can get this player to call some nice bets if you make it look like a bluff with intelligent over bets.

Tight Aggressive Warning: Even though these players are tight does not mean they won’t call your bluff or re-raise you with nothing (if they think you have nothing). These players tend to be more experienced so proceed with caution when playing this player.

Loose-Aggressive

The hardest type of poker personality to play against is the loose-aggressive. These players are everywhere all the time. You never know what they might be holding. They can raise when the best hand they have is a high king, and they can choose to stand pat when they hold a royal flush. These are the ones who confuse, and loose-aggressives who play well can win big and take you for big money. If you’re playing a loose-aggressive at a ring table, it might well be time to head for another table. These guys are unpredictable, and their style is very hard to beat. Don’t let them take you for big money. The downfall of a loose-aggressive is only another aggressive player, whether tight or loose, and it requires a huge bankroll and nerves of steel. If you’re not made for it, don’t try it. If a single player takes you for more than 1/3 of your bankroll, find a different table, play against someone else. Don’t seek revenge, seek equilibrium!

How to take Advantage: Many view these players as a menace, while others view them as easy to beat. The truth is, they are both. Even though they can be unpredictable, they may still show some patterns in their aggressiveness. If you pay close attention, you may be able to take down some pots with properly timed re-raises if you think they are just making a play for the pot. However, if you do choose to re-raise, you will need to make it 3-5 times the original bet. Otherwise, this player will call if on a decent draw.

However, the easiest way to play against this player is to simply set a trap. Play tight-passive and when you hit a monster hand lay down some twigs and watch them fall in.

Loose Aggressive Warning: This player can be a loose cannon. It is difficult to ever put them on a hand no matter if they are betting, raising or calling. Where a flop of K 2 7 may be safe with most players after a big pre flop raise. A loose aggressive player could easily have k2, k7, or even the infamous 27 off. For this reason, you really should be looking for two pair after the flop if you want to get into a large pot with this kind of player. Try to keep the pot small on lesser hands.