Poker is actually a game of observation and it is not just a card game. This article will throw lights upon some of the basic poker playing styles that you need to spot whether playing online or live. If you observe the styles of game play your opponents follow you can really get to know their tendencies, emotionally or psychologically, that can assist you in determining the best playing strategy against them.
Though there are diverse styles of poker playing and no two players have similar strategies. But you can categorize them in 4 different types of poker playing styles. And some styles of poker help to win more consistently than others.
Each poker player can be categorized into two basic factors which will broadly classify their playing style. These categories are tight vs. loose and passive vs. aggressive.
Tight vs. Loose
• The general tendency of the tight poker players is to play a small number of just the best hands.
• Loose poker players often tend to play an extensive variety of hands.
Passive vs Aggressive
A player’s passiveness or aggressiveness can be determined through their risk tolerance.
Passive poker players avoid confrontation and tend to play with a fear of losing.
Aggressive poker players tend to raise more than call and do not worry to put chips at risk.
By analyzing these factors we can typically find four general combinations of playing style:
TAG signifies “tight aggressive”. Majority of winning poker players prefer this style of playing.
TAGs are very selective in choosing their starting hands and hardly ever enter the pot willingly with trash holdings. They’ll notably favor betting and raising more than checking and calling.
LAG denotes “loose aggressive”. Most of the LAGs are in fact losing players, even though the very good LAGs can often make more profit than the TAGs. LAG style requires more skill than a TAG style – so only exceptionally good players succeed in making money this way.
Rock style is considered to be a tighter version of TAG style. As the online games grow to be tougher, the number of rocks seen at the table on a particular day slowly increases. Sometimes, rocks may even have earlier played a LAG or TAG style successfully but later had adopted a tighter strategy to stay a winner in the current competitive environment. Rocks are not skilled poker players in general. They usually suffer from different psychological problems (scared money) and strategic problems as they do not have a proper understanding of where and how to expand their ranges.
A Maniac is a hyper-aggressive version of LAG style player. In most cases, maniacs are significant in losing players with only a few exceptions. Maniacs usually lack in skill, they often make up for in having strong ranges and not unnecessarily spewing money with marginal holdings.