Particularly if you are new to the game, it will be difficult to assess what kind of a poker player you really are. To begin with, you will usually rely on playing with instinct with little additional thought. However, it is important to build such self-awareness because your opponents will be looking to understand patterns to your play. Once they think that they have worked out your style, they will no doubt be plotting to pressure and cajole you into playing a certain way. So, assessing your own style and habits is important to your prospects as a player.
The first category into which you might fall is the tight aggressive player. Usually these players play quality starting hands from a good position (i.e. when they are one of the last players to act at the table.) That means that usually they bet and raise when they need to do so, putting pressure on their opponents and rapidly taking control of the hand. A tight aggressive player usually only plays a good hand and so can be fairly predictable. However, that means that if you pay close attention to how they play and from which positions, you will be well-placed to predict their movements.
Perhaps you are what is known as a loose aggressive player? These are the big shots of poker playing, who like to flash the cash, sometimes regardless of the hand that they’ve been dealt. They will try to bully their opponents with big raises and catch the winnings on a big pot.
However, they are by their nature, rather unpredictable, sometimes going big on a weak hand and at other times playing conservatively on a strong set of cards. That makes the loose aggressive player difficult to read. The best thing that you can do is to try to keep track of their movements when a big pot is at stake and play accordingly.
If you are a beginner, you may well be a tight passive player. This is the type of player likely to play conservatively and is typical of a novice just learning and developing their game. Quite often, they will choose to check and call rather than raise a hand. If you are a tight passive player then beware that this style of play can be easy to spot and consequently is vulnerable to bullying from opponents, who will be eager to put on the pressure to make you fold.
Usually, if a tight passive player raises by a significant amount or re-raises the pot, then it is because they actually have a very strong hand. However, the wariness of their play often means that once the stakes are raised significantly by someone else, the tight aggressive player would rather fold than take up the challenge.
The final broad category of player is the loose passive player. This is the player that relies on luck and has no real consideration for strategy. Typically, the loose passive player doesn’t really care about strength of hand, pot odds or similar considerations, but is intent on being able to speculate to accumulate. Although this type of play is not considered a good way to consistently win, loose passive players can be very hard to read, as they simply like to call cards as early as possible, making it hard to bluff them.
Whatever kind of a player you think you are, it is important to develop different styles in order to become hard to predict and more likely to fool opponents.
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Gavin writes on a wide range of subjects, including articles and reviews about online casinos, slots, bingo, poker, and sportsbooks. He has considerable expertise in the games, customer service, and other aspects of today’s leading gambling and betting portals.