The beauty of poker is it could be enjoyed over different facets. Whether it is played casually in a house table game or competitively in physical/online casinos. As you progress through the stages towards poker expertise you notice more aspects of the game. Whether you’re playing online or playing live, when you observe the types of decisions your opponents make you can really pick up on their tendencies
Passive vs Aggressive / Tight vs Loose
Poker players can be diversified into two primary factors: Passive/Aggressive (Their general behavior in terms of playstyle and risk tolerance) and Tight/Loose (The selection of hand they choose to play).
- Passive poker players tend to avoid confrontation and play with a fear of losing.
- Aggressive poker players raise more than call and are not afraid to put chips at risk.
- Tight poker players usually play a small number of only the best hands.
- Loose poker players will often play a wide variety of hands.
The Four Primary Poker Playstyles
Following the classification above, the general poker players are separated into four categories: Tight Passive, Loose Passive, Tight Aggressive, and Loose Aggressive. Let’s further dive into these poker playstyles individually:
Players who play very few hands and rarely if ever raises unless they have a strong hand. They are easy to bluff and will frequently fold to scary board cards, such as an Ace. These type of players tend to be easy to predict but the advantage is they don’t lose as much.
Loose passive tend to be the playstyle of beginners, they plays a lot of starting hands, but rarely bets or raises. They seldom take chances or become aggressive in their plays and they tend to be “calling stations” when they do. As in they do not raise nor check but only call and goes along with the flow. They are very obvious to spot and are easy targets. However, they may not be susceptible to bluffs due to their straightforward playstyle.
Tight aggressive players do not press on unless they have a hand they are very confident in. They are very patient and selective and it usually is a sign of trouble when they play their hands strongly. Furthermore, good tight aggressive players make use of this trait to bluff later on in the game. Most observant opponents will avoid clashing with a tight-aggressive player since they’ll assume that they have the best hand and will fold under the pressure.
Loose aggressive players are very unpredictable and its hard to dictate their specific poker playstyle. They tend to frequently bet and raise and will often bet on flops. They use their chips as weapons and are constantly applying pressure on their opponents. These players will bluff a high percentage of the time and are hard to play against. It is not easy to adopt this playstyle but an experienced player can execute it very well.