Types of Poker Player

There are three kinds of people:

1. Those who watch things happen
2. Those who make things happen
3. Those who wonder what happened

Those who watch things happen are passive players, those who make things happen we call aggressive poker players and those who wonder what happened we call clueless. Majority of the table will have a selection of all three of these kinds of players. Even within these categories, there are different kinds of players. This is especially true among aggressive players. Aggression is a characteristic of a good poker player but not all aggressive players are good players. Some of them play badly and some of them fairly well under the game condition and don't seem to be able to adjust when the conditions change.

An Initial Assessment

The basic step in evaluating a player is to categorize him. Players can be categorized as: passive-aggressive and loose-tight. The extreme of these categories are easily recognizable. Someone who is very loose and aggressive is called a "maniac poker player " because he will bet or raise on just about anything. Someone who is very tight and passive is called a "rock" because he will play sure hands and even then he will play them accordingly and rarely raise. Someone who is very loose and passive is called a "calling station " because he will nearly always call someone else's bet but will rarely raise or bet himself. The last extreme group is both tight and aggressive and is called a "stone killer " because he is the one who waits for his opportunities and then grabs on them, making the most money. Many players do not fit into these types, but you will identify these four characteristics to more or less in every player at a poker table. In addition to the above, you may want to further categorize players along two other types: weak-tough and straightforward-tricky.

To identify the category of a player, watch what he does, how he plays, when he calls, when he bets and when he raises. If you are new to the game, you can also get an assessment of what type of player you are dealing with by watching how other players, the ones who probably know something about him, react to him. We shall examine the types and see how various players fit into their own categories.

The Tight-Loose Player

A tight player is one who doesn't get involved in lot of pots. He is very selective. A loose player plays a lot of hands and continues to play the hand into the later betting rounds.

The Passive-Aggressive Player

A passive player does not bet or raise on most hands but will tend to call your bets. An aggressive player is one who bets and raises a lot. If you bet into an aggressive player, he might fold or he might raise but he will not call.

The Weak-Tough Player

A weak player is one who always fears the worst. If three flush cards are on the board, he fears a flush. If you bet he might call, but won't raise with his flush straight. A tough player will try to think out whether you have a flush. If he doesn't think you have one, he will raise with his straight. If he does think you have one, he might call or he might fold, depending on how big the pot is. Tough players are likely hard to read whereas weak players are likely easy to read.

The Straightforward-Tricky Player

Some players always bet their good hands, always check and call with good draws and always fold their weak hands and weak draws. You always have a good feeling what kind of hand this player holds.
Other players try to get tricky. They will bet when they don't have much, check and call the flop, then raise on the turn when they have a good hand or a great hand. They will semi-bluff and raise a lot. The straightforward-tricky player are sometimes more difficult to read, but often they maximize their tricky attempts so much that you can read them more easily than you can a straightforward player. It is just that the clues are backward.

Continue: Narrowing down the Poker Hands

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