No matter which game you are playing, being a master of your own skills is not the only thing that is going to make you win. To over power your opponent is necessary to know about him strengths and weaknesses. Of these two, knowing the weaknesses is more important.
If you are on a table with 5 players, having an idea of their game plans and the loopholes in it can give you a wonderful opportunity to actually exploit their weakness to your advantage. Every player on the table is human and every person has a unique style.
These styles can be put into categories according to the basic nature of game play.
Different types of poker players
Tight Poker Players
A player may be called ‘tight’, if he makes his bets very restrictively. He may think too much before making a bet can even if he makes one, he will not make it big.
In case you are playing against a tight player, you will face problem in knowing what they up to. They don’t make their moves easily. So, it becomes very difficult to make out their hands. The best solution is to try to steal their blinds. Make your efforts to steals from the blind and from the dealer and the player sitting on the dealer’s immediate left.
Most times, you will find that these players will only play hands like QJ, K10 or A8 or better.
Loose Poker Players
A player, on the other hand can be ‘loose’ if he makes his bets very freely. Such player will not think too much making his bets and raising them. Loose players are a double edge sword. You want to play them because you will win the most money off of these people.
You just have to have your wits about you when they are actually are holding onto cards.
If you’re playing against a loose player, he will play his cards freely. In such a situation, you have to take your time and wait for the right card to be played by him. Once you get the correct opportunity, you should strike. The best thing about the loose players is that they want to increase the size of the pot and this can be very beneficial if you looking to get the big win.
Aggressive Poker Players
A player may be called ‘Aggressive’ if he looks to bet on cards which may not even be worth of betting on. His motive is try to get the other players into making bets and making haste. He knows well that ‘haste makes waste’ and is trying to make the other players make the ‘waste’.
You have to play carefully with the aggressive players as they can drive you in the wrong direction. You can think that you can beat this aggressive play, but these players will often lure others into a trap.
A favorite move I often see is that the aggressive player will show when he has beaten you with a bluff. This will make the player who folded more suspicious and thus the aggressive player will more easily get a call out of them. Usually, the next time you play the aggressive player, he’s waiting to set a trap or get you to call each time.
Passive Poker Players
A passive player on the other hand is the one who sits back and watches the game. He will just look what’s happening and will not make any striking decisions He will just flow with the game and not try to turn the table in into a battleground like the aggressive player.
You have to take the benefit of the passive players as they just go with flow of the table and thus their moves are easier to guess. They are relatively easy to play against. Bet on the flop to get them to fold. If they didn’t fold and just call, they have one of a couple of things: top pair, second pair with a high kicker, two over-cards or a draw of some kind.
Passive players do not raise often, so fold when they do.
Timing is everything
Now, what you have got to do is to recognize every player, as the right type and make your strategy according to your observation. Players of each type have their own weaknesses and knowing them will enable you to exploit them.
Also, the timing of your exploitation has to be right. Usually, the longer you wait in the game, the bigger the pot gets. The right time is when you make the most things. If you make your moves too early, you might end up winning a ‘mini-pot’ and if you are too late, you may end up losing the game.
Here’s a great example that I will sometime use. Late in your home tournament, there are still several players left (between 4 and 6). If you have stayed silent for several hands, you can wait until your at or close to the button and put a moderate raise up to try to steal the blinds.
However, don’t wait too long until you are short stacked. If you do that, you have already gone to the phase where you will inevitable be all-in if someone calls.
In any of the above cases, the right thing to do is to have patience and to keep trying to recognize the playing styles of the players. If you get their weaknesses right, you will be able to exploit them to your advantage.