In poker, as in life, you will encounter many different types of people
at the table. Identifying these types and adjusting to them is critical
if you want to become a successful hold'em player. Below are some of the
contrasting types of players.
(For more information regarding player types and why people play the way
they do, pick up Alan Schoonmaker's book The Psychology of Poker)
Tight or Loose
Better card quality
Not much action
Tight - A tight player plays only the best hands
and plays them fast since he or she doesn't
get to play very often. Tight players play
only a few hands and usually win the pots
they're in at the showdown, however since
they get identified as tight players, most
players won't stay in a hand with them, so
their pots are rarely large.
Large bankroll swings
Loose - A loose player plays many hands, both strong and weak. They believe
that “any two cards can win” and often sees the flop with hands that are
below par. Loose players are considered to be more "gambler-like"
as they are hoping that the turn and river will bring them their magic
card that will help them win the pot. Loose players may know how to play
the game, but can't stand not being in a hand in case their miracle card
hits on the river.
Aggressive or Passive
Intimidates other players
Cause people to fold
Large Bankroll swings
Requires skill to be successful
Aggressive - An aggressive player loves to bet and
raise, often pre-flop or with a “less
the nut” hand, although some players
aggressive when they get the best hand
He or she likes to cause the action
the bets rolling.
Gets to play many hands
Passive - A passive player prefers to “just call” rather than bet or raise. Many
times a passive player will have a good hand, but still simply call because
they don't want to stir things up. They will be in the hand as long as
they are comfortable and may drop their hand after the river card, since
the hand they were looking for never materialized.
Strong or Weak
Plays controlled game
Strong - A strong player has knowledge of the game
and will make the right calls at the right
times and will consistently showdown quality
starting cards based on the play at the table.
Weak - A weak player only focuses on his/her
own hand, has little knowledge of hold'em
strategies and will frequently showdown cards
that are of poor quality.