Spend an hour at a poker table and you will realise that people play differently. Often, people’s personality away from the table will tie in with how they play the table. This is why you may find the nice old lady checking down aces or the young internet kid 5 betting all in with K-5 suited. Every player has a style, whether they know it or not. This article will look at the most common poker styles and basic tips to countering them.
A loose aggressive poker style is the way many players wish they could play and win with. It involves playing many hands, often too many, and being aggressive with them. These players want to bluff every pot and bully the table. It’s a fun style to impose and can be successful in very tight games but you will find problems with this style. As a beginner, you don’t want to get involved in countless scenarios where you have no clue where you are at in a hand. The lag style will put you in many awkward pots that leave you scratching your head. This style should be considered when you have a lot of experience.
The nitty/rock style is one that a lot of players don’t admit to being. It is where you play very few hands, wait for your moments and hope people will pay you off and blow up into you. I don’t want to knock it too much, as it is a style that can potentially turn a profit at low stakes but it’s no fun and will not help your long-term development as a player. A style that rests almost entirely on holding better cards than your opponent isn’t a complete poker style.
The tag style is the most common of poker styles implemented by professionals. It strikes the balance of being solid before the flop but staying aggressive too. This selective aggressive approach is ideal for most games online, particularly the good online sites from the USA where those who are permitted to gamble, do so, recklessly. The tight but aggressive style ensures you have the mathematical edge over your opponents whilst also enforcing errors and raking nice sized pots with aggression.
A calling station is the loose passive style of poker. It is probably the worst poker style you can implement. They play many starting hands and are always limping and calling. They are prone to paying bets off with mediocre holdings. True, they will bluff catch where you or I may fold but they will lose many buy ins in the process. A calling station is very easy to detect as they look out of place. They are often flat calling before the flop, never raising, and always calling. Please don’t try this style, it won’t help you, in any way.
People’s personality and characteristics in life often turn out to be the same in poker. You just know the arrogant, egotistical guy is going to try lots of bluffs and show his cards after.
|Table Type||Which Style is Best?|
|Wild, lots of bluffing and aggressive players .||Nitty/Rock|
|Table of nits, everyone folding most hands.||LAG|
|Loose passive game, lots of limping but not much aggression.||TAG|
|Table of beginners, mixed styles but mostly weak post flop players.||TAG|
Whilst a loose aggressive style may be better in some games, at medium stakes, the tight aggressive style will serve you best starting out. By selecting fewer but stronger hands that your opponents, you will have a mathematical edge. By having the aggression in most hands, you will also win pots without showdown and also create a solid image. The TAG style is the best one to try initially, even if it is less fun than the LAG style.