Play Poker Betting Styles

Just as in life there are many different personalities, at the poker table there are many different types of bettors.  Sometimes you’ll see a player who likes to bang away and seems to be staying in every type of hand.  Other times it might seem like a player isn’t even in the game because he never bets.  So, what are the differences?  And who’s in between those extremes?


One common type of player that you will see at the low limit poker is called the loose-passive type.  To this player’s thinking, poker is a way to pass a few hours – and hopefully come out ahead.  The only way he can come out ahead, he tells himself, is to see all the cards.  Only if he has absolute trash will he flod - and sometimes even then he won’t.  Because he’s also passive, though, he isn’t likely to bang away very much, even when he should be doing so.  Unless he has an absolute monster hand, he’ll just casually call everything in sight in the hope that he gets something good and wins the pot.

Sometimes these players will walk away from a session a winner, but more often than not, they’ll just be giving their money away to other players, including you.  Many players of low-limit stud fall into this category.  When you think you’re playing at a table that is loose passive, dollar signs should flash before your eyes, because when you get that monster hand, it will paiy off nicely.

The maniac

Along with the loose-passive type of player, from time to time you will run into what is known as” the manaic.”  This kind of player can be called loose-aggressiveMany people enjoy playing with one of these, because they know Poker Player isn’t thinking clearly and is there just to get a rush from betting high amounts (and from winning a huge pot if he does win one).  This player may have an ace-high on his third card and be raising.  He likes to bluff a lot, too, so he may think that he can raise all he wants and drive out all the other players.  This player will always lose money in the long run.

Personally, while I can win some good money with someone like this at the table, and take advantage of him when I have something, I prefer not to play with a maniac.  Against a maniac, I risk losing a lot of money on one hand that would have cost me less to play had I been with the loose-passive players.  Again, there is nothing wrong with playing with this kind of player.  Just realize that during that session, you may see a lot of fluctuations in the number of chips in front of you

The Rock

Another kind of player you’ll see at the card room is the tight-passive type, also known as “the rock.”  This type of player knows exactly what kinds of hands he wants to bet, and he stays far away from anything that is risky.  This kind of player plays very smartly he never chases cards that he shouldn't’t.  You will not be making much money from this type of player.  At the same time, the tight-passive style of player won’t make much money for himself, either.  While these players may know precisely what they should and should not play with, they do not bet properly.  For instance, rather than raise when they have good hands, they will just call.

Unlike in hold’em, in stud, even when you have a great hand, there is always the chance no matter how small that you will lose to a bigger hand.  This fear is always in the back of the rock’s mind.  He just wants to win the pot, even if it is small, and he does not want to put a lot of his own chips at stake in the process.  While this may seem to save him money, in reality he does not win nearly as much as he should over the long run.  By just calling bets and not betting aggressively, he’s allowing the weaker poker hand to stay in cheaply, and many times that one weak hand will improve just enough often on the last card – to beat what should have been the best hand his hand.

Who You Want To Be

There’s a saying in the movie Ocean’s Eleven that goes something like this: the only way to beat the house is when you bet, to bet really big.  Now, of course, there’s no house to beat in poker, but the saying can be applied to the table to describe the type of player that you want to be: tight-aggressive.

As this type of player, you are not going to play many hands.  Nine times out of ten, your first three cards will in the amuck.  When you do play, though, you play properly.  You know when it’s right to raise either to force other players out of the hand or to make them pay if they are trying to draw to larger hands.  Playing this style will help you to maximize the amount of chips that are in your pile by not wasting them on lousy hands but taking more from your opponents when the big hand that you want finally hits.

We’ve now covered the poker basics of what you need to know before taking a seat at the card table.  We’ve also looked at the different styles of players that you might encounter out there.  Before we go into the proper ways to play at each stage in stad poker, let’s take a moment to discuss bluffing.