Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Studying your opponents is how you will find out how they play, respond and
react during a hand. Even if you fold out of the game, you can still watch the
remaining players to see what decisions they make. Discover if they:

Fold more often than call or raise
Frequently bluff
Check/raise or check/fold often

The more you watch your opponents the better you will be at player profiling,
which is a talent that takes time to achieve, especially online, due to the fact that
you will rarely play the same players over and over again. Once you are able to
distinguish the type of game your opponents like to play, you can then slot them
into one of these player profile categories:

1. The Aggressive Player
2. The Tight/Conservative Player
3. The Loose Player
4. The Straight Player
5. The Immature Player

To gain a better understanding for the way these players function, here is what
you can expect from each –

Players who are aggressive will try to do all they can to psyche you out and get
you to do what they want. They will be the player who chooses to raise over
folding, putting pressure on the other players to either fold or muck their hand at

Really talented aggressive players have a lot of confidence and it shows. They
make the other players feel uneasy, often causing them to second guess their
position in the game when the stakes are high. If you don’t see them coming, a
good aggressive player will take control over the way you play, and con you out
of the pot and your money.

If you want to stand up to the aggressive player you need to show them you have
a backbone, and that their bullying strategy isn’t going to work on you. Know
your cards and have the courage to give the overly aggressive player a taste of
their own medicine.

A tight, or conservative player, is one who does not like to take risks unless they
are necessary. He or she will not have the confidence to bet if they don’t feel
their cards are strong enough. More often than not, the tight player knows the
rules of the game inside and out, has an excellent memory, as well as a talent for
analyzing the skills of other players. Therefore, when they do achieve a strong
starting hand, they’ll surprise all the other players and snatch the pot.

A talented conservative player is an extremely tactical opponent. When faced
with him or her, you will find that they generally fold or call, instead of taking
risks. Thus, be wary of this type of player, for although you may think they are
passive at first, they could very well be waiting for the opportune moment to take
the win. Be on the lookout if this player is still in the hand in the later rounds,
this usually is a sign that they have a strong hand.

The loose player is one who is carefree, and is more likely to fold or call more
often than raise or bluff. They rarely win frequent pots, and treat poker more as
a fun pass time than as a serious money-making sport. If you discover the loose
player, you can gain the upper hand over them by playing a little more
aggressively, and intimidate them into folding early, so they don’t get the chance
to obtain a stronger hand.

The straight player is one who is robotic. He or she rarely takes risks, unless
they have a really strong hand. Often these players are beginners and are only
following the advice of a program such as the odds calculator. You will discover
that the more you watch a straight player, the more you will be aware when they
have a strong hand because they will play more aggressively and raise, which is a
good indication that you should fold, because they only play aggressive when
their helper program shows the odds are in their favor.

The immature player is one who is generally the easiest to recognize. Their poker
style is often cocky, rude, careless and thoughtless. Rarely do these players win
big pots as they take foolish risks and are the first to lose all of their money.

Immature players are not respected by other players, because they don’t take the
game seriously. It is easy to take advantage of these players, so use them to put
more money in the pot early on in the game. The faster these players are out of
the game, the quicker you will increase your winnings, and have more of a
budget to play with.

Remember, even if you have profiled the players you are up against, you should
never underestimate any player at any time. Letting your guard down cold be
the end of your game.
Play the players – don’t let them play you!
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