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Types of Poker Players

Poker players can be categorized into four main types. These types are based on two attributes.
  • tight vs loose
  • aggressive vs passive
Predictable Behavior
Tight will play very few hands
Loose will play quite a few hands
Aggressive will raise and bluff frequently
Passive will usually call

    These attributes can be combined to describe poker players.



This type of player will usually call the bets of the other players regardless of their hand or the associated pot odds. This player might make money against Loose-Aggressive players trying to bluff, but would not break even against other players. As a result, this type of play is not recommended. I like having this type of player at my table. This player is also known as a “calling station.”


The loose-aggressive players are constantly raising at all stages of betting. They play a lot of hands and do a lot of raising. Many of the raises made by these players will be bluffs. I also like having this type of player at my table. This strategy is very weak in an online game.



This person is involved in far fewer hands. Because of their passive nature this person can be easily bluffed. On the side of the coin, you should consider backing off whenever they call or raise your bets. A raise of re-raise if a sure sign of a great hand. This person is good at Limit Holdem but not so good at No-Limit Holdem. This player can be successful in an online game because most low limit games have so many bad players.


This person usually plays only good hands but plays them aggressively. Tight means that you tend to bet only when you have relatively strong cards. Aggressive means that once you get in a hand you take the initiative. This is the most profitable way of playing. This style would also be the most profitable in online play.

Recommended Style of Play

A Tight-Aggressive style is the recommended way to play, but it is in your best interest to keep your playing style a mystery. You should vary your play, at least occasionally. Always playing using this style or any style gets predictable. Good opponents will know when you have a good hand and your winning pots will be much smaller.

The best players vary their play, especially when they can pin down their opponent's styles. With a Tight-Passive opponent you can bluff to see if he folds. With a Loose-Aggressive opponent, you can slow-play a good hand and let them bet up the pot for you. Figure out your opponents and modify your betting strategy accordingly.


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