Categorize a Game

For making any kind of judgment about the aspects of the online poker game you should at least watch the game for about ten hands. The more hands you watch the game, the better, but ten hands is enough. That will take around twenty to thirty minutes or perhaps less. You should seek for two things: how many players see the flop and how often someone raises. This section consists of a full game - nine or ten players. Evaluation of a short-handed game requires a different approach.

Tight Table Game

A table with few poker players involved in each pot is a tight table. You will find some tables where there are rarely more than two players involved in a pot. If you see most flops involving two players, never more than three, that's a tight table. If you see a table where some times everyone folds to a single raise, that's a very tight table.

Loose Table Game

A table with many players playing poker hand is a loose table. If you see five or more players involved in most flops then that's a loose table. If most flops have seven or more active hands then that's a very loose table.

Passive Table Game

A table with very little raising is a passive table. If, out of ten hands, you see no more than two hands with raises before the flop, consider that a passive game.

Aggressive Table Game

The table with lot of raising is an aggressive table. If five or more of the ten pots have been raised then that's an aggressive game. A very aggressive game is one that is raised almost every pot. It is a very aggressive game if eight or more of the pots have been raised and at least two of them involved the maximum number of raises.

The first table given below shows the playing characteristics of twenty different combinations of game. You would think twenty different game types to remember but it is actually not true. With a little practice, you will be able to learn to identify these game types automatically. Unlike a very loose game, aggressive and very aggressive games are not much more profitable and the important advice to give is to avoid such kind of games.

The second table below the first shows the various combinations of tight-loose and passive-aggressive scales with an assessment of how they tend to be profitable.

You will be more profitable in games which are very loose and very aggressive. However, we are talking about potential profitability. It is not necessary that you will always recognize the potential. It is also much difficult to play in very loose and very aggressive games. What seems to be a good hand is often beaten by a long shot hand. Losing a pot to a player who is playing a hand that had very little chance of beating you is called a "bad beat." Sometimes players who suffer bad beats have an emotional response.
An extreme emotional response is called "going on tilt," a phrase borrowed from pinball machines. A player who is on tilt is one who is not thinking clearly tends to be reacting to past situations rather than the present situation and makes lot of mistakes. The potential is there in very loose, very aggressive games, although actually getting the money is something else again. Unless you are an experienced player with good hand-reading abilities, and don't become titled by a bad beat, then you should avoid these games. As said, beginners should avoid very aggressive games of all kinds.

GAME CONDITIONS

Passive
Typical
Aggressive
Very Aggressive
Very tight

1-2
<15%

1-2
15-50%

1-2
50-80%

1-2
>80%

Tight

2-3
<15%

2-3
15-50%

2-3
50-80%

2-3
>80%

Typical

3-5
<15%

3-5
15-50%

3-5
50-80%

3-5
>80%

Loose

5-6
<15%

5-6
15-50%

5-6
50-80%

5-6
>80%

Very Loose

7+
<15%

7+
15-50%

7+
50-80%

7+
>80%

Number of players seeing the flop
Percent of hands with pre-flop raise

GAME CONDITION PROFITABILITY

Passive
Typical
Aggressive
Very Aggressive
Very tight

+ -

+ -

+ -

-

Tight

+

-

-

-

Typical

+

+ -

+ -

-

Loose

++

+

++

+ -

Very Loose

+++

++

++

+++


+++ Very profitable
++ Profitable
+ Marginally profitable
+ - marginal
- Tough game
- Very tough game

Note that the table is not completely symmetric but that profitable games tend to be grouped in the direction of loose and passive poker games. Beginners should focus more on the passive. Even on a bad passive table, the game won't cost much.

Continue : Risks of Texas Players