Do You Know Your Opponent's Poker Style

My name is Justin, and I’ve been playing online poker professionally for three years. I’ve learned more about poker in these years than most people do in a lifetime. Here are the four main styles that online poker players fit into.

  1. Loose aggressive
  2. Tight aggressive
  3. Loose passive
  4. Tight passive

Loose aggressive – This is also known as a LAG player. A LAG player usually plays many different starting hands, and likes to bet and raise more often than call. Many of these players tend to suck out on the flop and can’t quit until they have a big hand. Likewise, these players’ tend to suck out on the turn and river, always chasing a straight or flush. Many LAG players like to see lots of flops. They will play with a wide range of hands, but will always be selective. The style is often associated with a lot of action, and many “donks” at the table will be raising with any hand they have. Don’t be a LAG player.

Tight passive – This is also known as a TAG player. TAG is another name for a very aggressive player. Most TAG players have a tight style, and will call almost every hand they receive. Most TAG players like lots of action, and will often let it ride with connectors, so you can see lots of tables of TAG. TAG players also like to play a lot of starting hands, and often seem to be hitting their draws or low straights. Be careful of a TAG player who starts limping into pots. TAG players often play a wide range of hands, but if you know what to look for, you can take advantage of a TAG player who is playing lots of hands.

Tight aggressive – This is also known as a TAG player. Tight aggressive is another name for a super aggressive poker player. Most TAG players take no risks, and raise and bet often. They may not like taking risks, but when the time is right, they know when to take them. Many of these players raise with big hands pre-flop, or check raise with draws. You should know that a tight aggressive LAG player is not for everyone. TAG players have a tight style, so they are not as predictable as LAG players. However, you can make the simple mistake of letting a TAG player steal a pot from you, and then re-raise. If you know your opponent is tight, you can re-raise him in two different ways. First, you won’t scare him off with a raise (since he knows you will have the better hand, and doesn’t want to admit he’s beat), and second, you may want to up your bets and try to make him fold his hand before he knows what you really have.

Loose passive – This is also known as aclean player. Once a player has been labeled as a loose passive player, they’ll often begin to play only premium hands, such as big pocket pairs, or very strong drawing hands. Many of these players are very easy to take advantage of. If you play very aggressive and bet into these players, most of the time you will knock yourself out of the game. The key to playing this type of poker is being selective. Don’t let yourself blind yourself down to just big pocket pairs. Successful poker players do not indiscriminately open pots with huge bets, since their cards sometimes don’t matter. Also, don’t let yourself get played out by these type of tight passive players. Letting yourself be played out by a calling station is not the way to go. Play tight passive versus the tight aggressive player, and you will be good. The combination of these two completely different strategies is the key to becoming good at poker. Game selection varies greatly between different poker variants, so differentiating one poker type from the other is highly recommended. If you want to become good at poker, you need to study the different game variants and seek out the one that works best for you.