To play poker online successfully is to become adept, not just at poker strategy, but in studying the psychology surrounding the game. Being able the fathom out your opponents’ personalities and their poker playing styles is vital if you want to win. Whether you play on terra firma or opt for online casino poker with a live dealer game, you’ll quickly learn the “affectionate” names that have evolved to describe the different characters you’re sure to meet.
Tight Or Loose Poker Playing Styles
By closely observing other players, particularly when you’re not directly involved in play, it’s possible to categorise them by their actions. Poker strategy is generally divided into tight or loose play. Tight players are very selective about the hands they play, preferring to concentrate on only the really good ones. Loose players like to keep their options open by playing as many different hands as possible just to keep everyone guessing. Whether a player is tight or loose, their style will be either passive or aggressive. Passive players avoid risks, while the aggressive love chasing them.
Passive Poker Strategy
Playing tight passive involves a fair amount of caution when placing bets. This can mark a player out as weak and they then become easy prey for stronger players. Known as a Nit or Rock, this type of poker playing style means waiting patiently for only a safe hand to turn up which makes their play very predictable. Loose passive players are extremely cautious, hesitating over which strategy to employ and being undecided over whether to risk a bet or not. Labelled Calling Stations or Fish, they seem unable to evaluate the strength of their hand, even when it’s a good one, then moan about their fortunes to distract from their lack of knowledgeable play. However, these are not to be confused with the newcomers to online casino poker. Even these can be divided into two camps. Newbies are eager to learn the tricks of the trade and maintain an intelligent attitude, although they lack the experience to win. Noobs on the other hand are a lost cause, being unable to grasp the fundamentals of poker strategy indicating that they should perhaps stick to playing online slots.
Strong Poker Strategy
Loose aggressive players (LAG) are hard to evaluate, as they like to confuse everyone by playing every poker strategy they’ve ever learned, earning players with this erratic style the title of The Maniac. They enjoy pressurising opponents by adding wildly to the pot. Anyone who can manage to keep a clear head can often weather the storm long enough to win by patiently using a few solid strategies of their own. Tight aggressive players (TAG) display strong, bold personalities who like lying in wait for an opportunity, then suddenly pounce with a dynamically big bet. These Sharks have the most cunning of poker playing styles that’s very difficult to decipher. Their aggressive, threatening play keeps players like the Fish Or Newbie shaking in their shoes. Sharks will even sneakily check when you least expect it with the expectation of conning opponents into betting larger amounts. Add to these Mr ABC Poker knows the rule book backwards but lacks the imagination of a Shark. This type of play leaves him open to bouts of aggression from strong opponents. The least favoured of all in UK online casino poker sites, but curiously not in American poker. is the Coffee Houser. This player cannot resist offering misleading comments about his hand, but as every poker player worth his salt knows, its quiet discretion that’s at the heart of every good bluff.
Adapting Poker Strategies
Whichever categories opponents slot into, players have a greater chance of success if they learn to adapt their own style of play according to their opponents’ characteristics. For example, when surrounded by many aggressives, a player needs to adopt a tight poker strategy to have any chance of outwitting them. And remember, while keeping an eye on your opponents, cast an occasional glance over the way you play your own strategies and try to see yourself as your opponents do…
Poker Playing Styles
- Nit or Rock – predictably cautious
- Calling Station or Fish – indecisive and ineffective
- Newbies – newcomers with potential
- Noobs – newcomers with no potential
- The Maniac – erratic and intimidating
- Shark – cunning, patient and top of the pack
- Mr ABC Poker – knowledgeable but bland
- The Coffee Houser – unsporting talker