Strategies Against Various Poker Players

Against Tough Players

You should not play a holdem game where the other players are tough, good players but there are times when a game gets temporarily short-handed games and you will want to keep the game going even though you are only competing against tough players. You can do this if you know it is a temporary situation and that other, weak players will show up soon. Against tough rivals, not only you find it difficult to win consistently, but you will also tend to experience more in your results.

Hand domination is the important when playing against tough players. You need to have the best hand. When you are short-handed, then it sometimes doesn't take much to have the best hand. A 9 is a big card in a short-handed game.

A hand that has two cards, 9 or larger, is worth opening with a raise. A single Ace has enough high-card value on its own that it is worth opening with a raise with any suited Ace and unsuited Ace as long as the kicker is 7 or higher. A King doesn't have the high-card value of an Ace but suited Kings with a kicker at a 6 or higher are generally worth playing. Some of the medium connectors are also worth playing even though they don't have much high-card value for example 86.

When you are on the button or on the small blind and no one else has opened yet, you can play more aggressively. Raising with any Ace is correct.

You might want to sometimes limp in with hands a little weaker than indicated by the table. In a short-handed game, the second pair is enough to win and with hands like 75 it is worth seeing the flop if you can do it cheaply. Don't overdo it if the players are tough. If you do this, it is a good idea to also limp with your best hands so that the rivals won't start automatically raising whenever you limp. Hands that are worth limping and then re-raising if raised include big pairs, TT and higher and the big suited Aces, aJ and higher. If you limp and re-raise with these hands and also limp with weaker hands like 85 or 33 you won't have to worry about becoming too readable.

Against Tight-Passive Rivals

You should play more hands against tight-passive rivals for two reasons. The first reason they will often throw away their hand before the flop allowing you to steal a lot of blinds and the second reason is when they do call, they will tend to continue to call when your hand is best but won't raise when their hand is best.

Against tight-passive rival, you will want to play all your hands with a raise because of the good chance that they will just fold and you will win the blinds -but you don't want to get too carried away. You should avoid the very small pairs and the unsuited Aces and Kings with very small kickers. Deuces and treys don't have much significant value.

Against Loose-Passive Rivals

Against such kind of rivals you will not get much chance to steal the blinds; they will call, but they will continue to call where they are clearly beaten. Because of that you can play many hands against loose-passive rivals if you play almost well after the flop.

The strong hands in a short-handed game that can be played against loose-passive rivals are any pair, any Ace and most suited Kings. Even pocket pairs as weak as 22 can be played strongly after the flop with the right kind of flop and the right kind of player. For example, you started with a raise and only the big blind calls, then he checks when the flop is Q98. Against a loose-passive player, you will get a call from a hand like 75 if you bet. Many of them will fold on the river even if they pair one of their cards if you just continue betting. It does not mean you should always bet in this situation, but it is always something you should give important consideration to against loose-passive rivals. Against passive rivals you can get the maximum earning when you are the best but they won't extract more money from you when they are best.

Loose-Aggressive Rivals

If the loose rivals have become little aggressive then the situations has changed a lot. You will need yourself to tighten up slightly. Aggressive players will be extracting more money from you as much as they can when they have the best, so you need to avoid those situations as much as possible. You don't want to completely avoid them, you do want to go after loose players aggressively you want to be more cautious when they are likely to be shooting back.

Against aggressive players you should tighten up, especially with unsuited cards and with very low cards. Avoid very low pairs and unsuited hands such as A4. When playing against aggressive players, you want to have hands that tend to have little something extra to fall back on. For example a hand like A4 and a flop like K54 have a little more going for it than a hand like A4 and a flop like K74. When your rivals are aggressive then that little extra can mean a lot.

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