Poker is a unique game where an individual’s personality can sometimes be seen at the table, but sometimes not. As you gain experience in Texas Hold’em you’ll begin to notice specific playing styles. You can quite quickly categorise these styles neatly. This will help you identify potential strengths and weaknesses from your opponents and allow you to modify your strategy based on which style your opponent adopts. In this post, we’re going to share four different types of players you may face and give some tips on how you can notice them. These tips should help you in both online and live settings.
A rock is easy to spot at the poker table. They are the players playing so few hands that when they enter the pot, people usually fold quickly. Surprisingly, a rock will still get paid from the bad players. Weak players don’t adjust their strategy to a rock so they will still pay them off. Nitty is another term used for being a rock. Nit poker is generally a losing style to adopt as you won’t be able to get paid off enough against competent opponents. After all, if you are only playing big pairs and ace-king, its going to be very apparent to even the least attentive of players.
This is a conservative yet aggressive approach to Texas Hold’em. It’s widely accepted that the tight aggressive style aka TAG is one of the most profitable to master at low stakes. A TAG will play more hands than a rock and bet them assertively to ensure they get paid. They will also throw in the occasional bluff and c-bet frequently to keep their win rate up. This is a decent style to adopt when you’re a beginner or intermediate. You will spot these players as they play a balanced range of hands and have a high win percentage of pots they contest.
The stations are easy to note at the table. They are the players that always get to the river with average or worse hands and just can’t seem to fold their hand. Whether its middle pair or top pair is irrelevant, they refuse to fold when facing a bet. A calling station will almost always be a losing player as they pay no attention to pot odds. Most players recognise quickly that they cannot be bluffed and will restrict their bluffing to small flop bets. There is no sense trying to bluff someone that is stubborn. Instead, just value bet your winning hands with significant bet sizes to ensure you are rewarded for your better hands. Playing like a calling station is not a good idea and we suggest you avoid it, regardless of your experience.
The loose aggressive or “LAG” brand of poker has gained popularity in the decade. Experts realised that by contesting more pots they are enhancing their image and will increase their chance of getting paid. They are also able to confuse opponents and enable errors in awkward post flop scenarios. This playing style is suited to those of you who have years of experience and had some form of poker training too. You’ll find yourself in many tricky spots as you will be involved in a wide range of hands, in or out of position and often multi-way. You can spot this opponent at the table by the number of hands they play and the creative way they navigate post flop.
There you have it, four unique playing styles that one can adopt in the modern game. You’ve probably encountered people who play these ways in your local cardroom or online. Now you know the traits that follow you can make a mental note and plan a profitable way to extract their chips!
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