If you new to No Limit Texas Hold’em poker and have watched the WSOP you are probably amazed at the brilliant play of some of the professionals. Most likely you find yourself saying, “Wow! How did he know to raise in that situation” or “How in the world did he know that he was bluffing?” Well, sometimes it is luck but more often than not it is skill and knowing their opponents tendencies. When you are staking out your next opponent you may want to keep in mind that most players fall into four distinct categories, loose passive, loose aggressive, tight passive and tight aggressive.
The term loose and tight describes a poker player’s frequency of played hands. A loose poker player will play many hands and mix their play up. They don’t necessarily wait on what would be thought of as a good starting hand. A tight player will play hands less frequently usually waiting on a good starting hand or at least to be in good position.
The term passive and aggressive describe a poker player’s betting tendencies. A passive poker player will normally check or call many times even if they have top pair or over cards. An aggressive player, on the other hand, has a tendency to bet or raise and put your ability to read them to the test.
A loose passive player is generally new to No Limit Texas Hold’em. They will start with almost any hand not fully understanding which hands are strong and which hands are marginal. When the flop and turn are shown and they catch middle or bottom pair they will generally check or call giving the opponent an opportunity to catch cards. This type of opponent may scare easily with a large bet on the river.
An experienced loose aggressive player is a very dangerous player and you always want them on your right. This type of poker player will play various types of hands and also bet very aggressively, as if he/she always has a great hand or is catching a great flop. Watch out for this type of player because it is extremely difficult to put them on a hand.
A tight passive player is one of the most respected players at a poker table but that can be a good and bad thing. A tight passive player will only play a limited number of hands. They generally wait on good cards and will call or bet only when they have made their hand. Generally a poker table will recognize a tight passive player and when they represent a hand the table will respectfully fold their cards resulting in smaller pot sizes.
A tight aggressive poker player will sit back and wait on a good hand or good position and then bet aggressively. It is thought that this style of play fits extremely well with No Limit Texas Hold’em. This type of player will frequently raise pre flop. If he/she is on a draw or thinks the hand is good, you better believe there will be a strong bet or raise following as well.
If you’re new to the game then you may not have a strategy down yet. Remember, there is no right answer to what type of style you choose or fall under but with practice you will probably be able spot what type or poker style suits you the best.