Poker Playing Style Learn The Basic Overview In Less Than 300 Seconds
Poker Playing Style is one of the cool things about poker, we all play the game slightly differently. You could say we each have our own signature style.
In fact most of your profit and poker comes from identifying what style your opponent is playing, while at the same time preventing him from identifying the style that you play.
When you’re seated at a 9 max table though it’s a huge task to figure out the style of eight other opponents.
You need a tool – something which simplifies that process to generalize this endless diversity of style into something more manageable.
So let’s do that now, let’s talk about every style across two dimensions and the result will be 4 general style, 4 categories we can bucket all players into.
Let us break this into two parts
- The two dimensions are how many hands you play in Poker?
- How likely you are to bet when you play a hand in Poker?
So, the first dimension how many hands you play in Poker?
If you play very few hands we call that TIGHT and the opposite of TIGHT is LOOSE playing a lot of hands.
Now the most TIGHT you could be in Texas Hold’em Poker is just playing Pocket Aces one hand and the most loose you can be is playing all 169 starting hands.
What are these 169 starting hands in Poker?
There are 169 non-equivalent starting hands in texas holdem poker, which is the total sum of : 13 pocket pairs, 13 × 12 / 2 = 78 suited hands and 78 unsuited hands (13 + 78 + 78 = 169).
Let’s say you’re in a hand how likely are you to bet? the vertical axis now!
If you’re very likely to bet versus check at Poker we call that AGGRESSIVE, so you’re an aggressive player.
The opposite of aggressive is PASSIVE. A passive player at the extreme won’t ever bet if even if he has a hand he’ll just check and call and of course if he doesn’t have a hand he’s not bluffing, a passive player just checks and folds when they don’t have it.
Hopefully you notice now we have four boxes and one of them you might even have heard before TIGHT AGGRESSIVE at the top right abbreviated TAG
And maybe you even heard of its cousin to the left LOOSE AGGRESSIVE abbreviated LAG.
Now the box is at the bottom, they don’t have names because they’re actually losing style.
The first loose pass if we’re going to outline in red, stay away from a loose passive style you’re gonna lose money and you’re gonna lose it fast because you’re playing a lot of hands and you’re not winning the pots so you’re not preventing opponents from outdrawing you when you are ahead, even if an opponent doesn’t outdraw you because of your passiveness the pots small by the river.
A loose passive player will call a new player you might remember being a new player.
You probably thought poker was an action game and you wanted to see a lot of flops if you got any piece of it even bottom pair with a bad kicker you really wanted to see showdown you were curious and of course you didn’t have the patience to fold marginal hands pre-flop.
If you’re still a loose passive player, try to transition to a tight passive player, still a losing style it’s slightly better though than loose passive so we’ll outline it in orange.
A tight passive player is really what we would call a thoughtful fish.
So thoughtful there is an improvement here you’re tight you have the patience and the knowledge now to fold most hands preflop maybe you’re only playing pocket tens plus an ace jack-off suit plus but your big downfall is that your passive! you’re too scared to bet when you have a hand for fear that you’ll push weaker hands out and you’re too willing to call when you have middle or bottom pair.
If you’re a thoughtful fish we want to get you up into the Tag region.
A tag player is what we would call a GOOD PLAYER most of the break even and modest winning players in the game of poker are tags, they’re solid good players.
A tag is marked by playing up to about 20% of poker hands but no more than 20%.
As you get a good handle on tag, you should start experimenting with the lag style the loose aggressive style.
We outlined it in yellow because we want you to use caution! when you start playing a lag style it’s probably not a destination, it’s a very volatile style you’re gonna win big pots and lose big pots you’re playing a lot of hands up to about 30%.
The main strength of the lag style is your table image is so loose and aggressive that when you do hit the nuts, a straight, a flush or a strong two pair you’re probably gonna get paid off.
So these are the four poker playing style where should you play.
Well we recommend TAG as you’re learning and once you’re a break-even or slight winning player we actually want you to your destination to be a mix of all four style heavily weighted though towards the aggressive style.
Almost every pro in the world does this they’re a mix of all the style and they adjust they shift their game based on the tendency of the players at their table and you can imagine sometimes it’s okay to become passive play one of the bottom two style and give your opponent if he’s very aggressive some room to hang himself let him continue betting even all three streets in some cases when you’re almost certain you have the better hand.
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