Player Identification

Among the thousand variables that determine placing ourselves in the list of winning players, it is especially worth mentioning “observation.” Simply by taking a look around we can detect details that will help us to better understand the game. When we sit at a poker table, we will meet players who practice different styles of play and that we should identify when developing a winning strategy as we face any of them. There is already a well defined relationship of these different types, we will find ourselves in one of them and punctually, we will make changes from one style to another within the same heading depending on the situation.

We move between players “tight” (closed) and “loose” (loose) and within each of these groups passive and aggressive players or what comes to be the same, fish (fish), maniac (manic), rock (rock), shark (shark). We talk about each of them below:

What is a tight player?

This is a type of player who selects his cards very well, so when he comes into play he becomes a favorite. It is not difficult to identify, because they will pass hands and hands without noticing waiting to arrange a good one. It usually happens that when you make a move, most players pull their hands without doubting the bad expectations it offers. He is able to throw a good hand if he thinks he loses.

This conservative style of play is especially recommended when one is starting. Logically, coming into play only with premium hands, our expectation will always be winning in the end. It would be advisable to review the article Probabilities of winning, “All in preflop”, to complement the information.
What is a loose player?

We speak of a type of player totally opposite to the mentioned one, as we said at the beginning, it is a loose player, so it will play many more hands than recommended, will pay and pay until you enter the card you are looking for or until it is seen totally lost, the lantern with him is not recommended. This type of player, cares little about his position, as well as his bad play, the Virgin can always appear for him, haha.

Seen the seen, although it is the simplest style of play, because it does not suppose any type of containment, it entails some joy and many dislikes as soon as they identify you, therefore, do not play loose and learn to be disciplined by selecting an appropriate range of hands and playing with position, from the beginning.

The aggressive player:

He is a type of uncomfortable player, difficult to read, we will always have doubts with him depending on his game. Intimidating player, who bet strongly, rises and resumes with forcefulness, obtaining information from the rivals based on their reactions, tendency not to call, prefers to raise or go hand in hand. This type of game, forces to make difficult decisions when it is not possible to link in later rounds. He will steal boats and blinds at the slightest chance he has.

The passive player:

These players, as their own title describes “liabilities”, abuse checks and calls, no raises, try to get to the show down with the minimum cost, so, very rarely make a bet or if they do These bets will be minimal so that the pot is not enlarged and can continue in the hand. When they go up, they do it because they have a clear victory. These types of players are not in the group of winners, that passive attitude is not the best way to play poker.


We already know what are the different types of players that we are going to find in a poker game, let’s talk about their different combinations …

The passive player, “the fish”:

Also popularly known as “calling stations”, they are characterized by playing with a range of hands that is too wide, no matter if your hand is coordinated, if they are of the same or different suit, if you speak the first, in the middle or the last (play with position), their strategy is to match previous bets with any play (limpers – cold call), hence the “calling station” or simply pass, which is even more comfortable. You can find that with a big hand their bets have been minimal, which can mislead enough. They are big losers of poker because of their attitude of always being present, regardless of hand.

The qualifier of “fish” comes as a ring to the finger or what is the same, fish waiting to be caught or eaten by some type of marine predator. Faced with this type of players, it is convenient to make strong increases (probably pay) if we have good options or we want to protect our hand, the minimum bets are insignificant for him, when showing his cards as a general rule they will not carry a large hand. They will often give you free cards, so they offer a good opportunity to play projects. It is not convenient to bluff with this type of players as they will pay with any hand as a rule. Not at all observers, always play the same regardless of who faces. They abound in low limits.

The aggressive losse player, “the maniac”:

The maniac, as his own name indicates, “crazy”, is a type of dangerous player, not only plays many hands but rises and resumes without measure without having a good hand, lamplight, and steals blind habitually. These players are the showmans of the game, so they are immediately seen. They dare with brabuconadas like: “I will peel you all”, “you are some fish”, “your money is my money” and other major niceties, haha. This type of player is the most difficult to handle, because you can never assure that he is playing and when you think you have him hunted he can surprise you and take a good blow.

When we face a maniac, it is best to make a passive game with options to get to the river or the showdown by putting the least money possible in the boat, it must be said that they are crazy but they are not stupid and they will usually have something to teach. If we have a winning hand, raise and re-raise to enlarge the boat and take it as much as possible. Frequent all-in preflop even with medium or regular hands, with a 10-10 or AQ or higher you should play with advantage. If with any player the slowplay makes more sense it is with this one. Normally and in the long term they lose a lot of money.

Playing in this way and making money requires great mastery and a high knowledge of the game and the players to know when to press and when to retire.

The passive Tight player, “the rock”:

He is a player with a very close range of hands that limits himself to calling with good hands that are not nuts, if he does not have a decent play he will throw himself without much hesitation, on the contrary, if he goes up or resumes, it is undoubtedly because he is going well armed, it will be convenient to go hand in hand in these cases or mostly or it will cost you money.

He is not a blind thief or a type of player who makes slowplay, unless he has secured the victory, for all this, his bank will not suffer too many fluctuations, but he is not a player who can aspire to earn money, due to his fears of put money in the boat.

Normally it is enough to place a strong bet to protect your hand and make them withdraw. The only kind of bluff that this type of player usually makes is the continuation bet on the flop, if you continue betting on the turn, you are sure that you have a strong hand, withdraw if you do not carry at least one very strong. Attack their blinds whenever possible.

If you do your job of observing the players at the table, you will not have any problem to identify a rock-type player, since it is easily recognizable because of its lack of action, although sometimes they can also go unnoticed for that same reason. Seen this way, it should be removed from the hand when they come into play and rise or rise, unless you have a good play.

The aggressive Tight player, “the shark”:

Finally the player we all want to be or become, the shark. Without a doubt the best player of all and therefore the most difficult to beat. He comes into play with a very select range of hands playing them with strength and determination, avoiding that there are too many players in his hand because he knows that he loses a good part of his possibilities when this happens, especially when his hand is winning until that moment but easily overcome in subsequent rounds. As we can see, he raises the stakes to protect his play and it is difficult to find out when he is bluffing. Play with skill and intelligence using all techniques, observation, hand reading, position, lantern, semi-bluff, raise, chec-raise, reraise, etc. The best option is to check-call when we perceive that you want to hold hands with your bets or withdraw if there are no pot odds to move on.

It is convenient to study the game guidelines of an aggressive tight because they usually fall into the dynamics of playing mechanically.

This player opens with a very closed range from starting positions and widens it as he approaches the button. When in doubt, he usually makes bets or raises to determine the strength of the opponent’s hand. Play bluff or semifarol in last positions when you see that nobody has something powerful. As he has previously studied the rest of the players he knows what movement to perform at each moment, play slow, play hard, pass, match. Sometimes mislead the rest of the players by placing more or less high bets than usual. He rarely does slowplay, unless his cards are hard to beat. You can attack their blinds without going crazy but think that an aggressive tight is not your goal.

Conclusion: We will be able to add a few points more than the opposite, tilting the balance of the odds in our favor, if we carry out the work of observation and study on the behavior

of the players, identifying them and making the most appropriate game based on each of the types we face.

Thank you very much for your attention and we hope it has been of interest …

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