If you’re good at numbers, you could probably play a decent game of poker. But to play a great game of poker, you need heart, flair and creativity in addition to mathematics. Most players have their own unique playing style and it is this that will make the difference between whether they can beat you or not. It’s important for a poker player to determine what type of player he or she is in order to make wise decisions while playing i.e. knowing the different traits of players is crucial to forming your response to a particular action by your opponent. Not only that, your knowledge of player personalities will inform your own game, affording you a level of self-analysis you may not have otherwise been aware of.
Key poker player ‘types’
Tight-Passive players are those players who will only make a raise or call when they are holding very strong hands. They tend not to make risky moves and would rather fold if their cards are weak. If a Tight-passive player raises or calls to your move, you’d better have some very good cards to back up your next move.
Loose-Passive players on the other hand will continuously raise their opponent’s bet. Such players tend to rise even with weak cards. They rarely consider the consequences. It’s therefore very risky to bluff with a Loose-Passive player because it’s very difficult to determine whether they truly have weak or strong cards.
Tight-Aggressive players are players who make their moves in a very bold manner once they’re sure they have the best cards. They tend to play only good hands and will bluff only occasionally. Once a Tight-Aggressive player rises, it’s usually more obvious that he/she will go with the pot.
Loose-Aggressive players are mostly professional players. However, they always tend to mix their aggressiveness with their passiveness. Loose-Aggressive players are those who don’t have a problem doing ‘all-in’ and they do this even with very weak cards. They will however occasionally have very strong cards and thus, it’s difficult to read their games. Pros in poker often apply the Loose-Aggressive method but tend to switch to a passive method every once in a while to avoid giving themselves away and in order to always keep their opponents guessing.
Poker personality goes a long way
Poker is a game that requires one to apply their intuition and reasoning skills. It is both a scientific and psychological game. The many pros that are surviving on poker playing for a livelihood and their repetitive wins in major tournaments is testament to the fact that poker is not like any other gambling game out there. The winning streak in poker can be determined in certain players who master their skill of deception and cunningness. People expose themselves while playing poker through ‘telling’ or making bluffs which end up exposing them rather than accomplishing their intentions. Players may decide to be aggressive, humble or even submissive. None of these skills ascertains that a poker player will win the game. The manner in which one plays is the one that completely determines whether one wins, in terms of the psychological part of poker anyway.
Some players are aggressive but always on a losing streak. Others are humble but keep on losing while others are submissive and still end up losing. Aggressive players probably are harder to cope with than humble players in that they play in a manner to suggest that they’re always sure of what cards they expect from their opponents and that they have the best cards at hand. Such players who don’t really know how to apply their aggressiveness at the right moments end up exposing their game very early and if they’re not good at making judgements, end up becoming very bad players at poker. Humble players on the other hand are a bit quieter. They don’t make a lot of suggestions or make moves with aggression nor submission. In other words, they just play the game as they find it without really showing that they know a lot or that they don’t know much. Such players are very difficult to read and more than often never ‘tell’ or bluff. It’s thus very difficult to discover their game. This skill however is most suitable for a very good poker player who will regularly win and only sometimes lose. Those who are humble and end up losing games give themselves away. They prove to their opponents in the long run that it’s just in their personality to react in that way while playing poker. The submissive players on the other hand can be very cunning. Bad poker players should never be submissive while playing. This completely crushes them. However, this skill would best be used by beginners. It gives them a chance to dupe the other players into believing that they’re not really good players and as such, if they apply some good playing skills, may end up making bankroll within short periods after beginning to play. All in all, most poker players begin by being submissive, then humble and end up playing their games very aggressively. Ideally, this does work for many people but considering that poker is a game of wits, it’s more advisable to confuse your opponents and try to master your game in your own unique way.