Poker is a game of patience, concentration and cunning. You need to be aware of the cards in your hand but also the personalities of your rivals. Understanding the psyche of other players at your table allows you to predict, with a fair degree of accuracy, the type of hand they may have. Some players are more reserved and will only get to the river (the final betting round) if they’re confident in their hand. Others play risky, often bluffing to try and intimidate opponents.
Dabbling in online poker is no different; knowing when to bet and fold and when to play on or back off is important, even if your hand is strong. The better you know your opponents, the better you will play your hand. And if you want to improve your odds during live poker tournaments, where you play against a lot of different types of poker players, being able to recognize the various personalities can give you an advantage. We break down the various poker personalities and discuss poker tournament tips.
Four types of poker personalities
Online casino games attract millions of players who adopt different playing styles and strategies. So, what are the different types of poker players? Traditionally, there are four types of personalities around the table: Loose-aggressive, loose-passive, tight-aggressive and tight-passive.
In a Texas Hold’em poker game, a loose-aggressive player is known to play many hands and will often bet and raise when it is their turn. However, they rarely call when other players raise. This style of play is popular amongst professionals and comes with a ‘high-risk, high reward’ outcome. Choosing to play loose-aggressive exposes you to higher-risk plays, yet it’s an effective way to get under an opponent’s skin by pressuring them into making mistakes.
A personality often mirrored by beginners, a loose-aggressive player plays a lot of starting hands and will go the distance in a round if they have any kind of made hand. They find it hard to fold anything, from a bottom pair to a flush. These players are prone to making mistakes because they are involved in most rounds. When it comes to players you would want to face in live poker tournaments, these are the ones.
A tight-aggressive player tends to be more tactical and aggressive when joining a round. They play a few hands and frequently bet or raise. However, they rarely make calls within the game. This is a great style of play for those breaking away from beginner tables to intermediate ones. Typically, tight-aggressive players are the trickiest to play against as the constant raising and betting can intimidate opponents – even those with strong hands.
Probably the easiest player to predict because their nature is to rarely bluff and only bet when holding a strong hand. Meaning that if you’re going head-to-head against a tight-passive player during a round, it may be best to fold as it’s almost guaranteed they will have a stronger hand. As well as only playing a few hands, they rarely raise or bet – often happy to fold and wait for strong cards.
What style is the best?
During an online poker game, there are numerous Texas Hold’em poker hands to play which can often clash within rounds. For example, it is possible for a player to get a straight and another to have a flush in the same round.
It’s one thing knowing which hands are strong; it’s another to be able to read your opponent’s behavior to get a gist of whether they’re holding strong or weak cards. This is how you take your game to the next level. If you’re serious about wanting to progress, it’s always beneficial to hire a poker coach and ensure you’re avoiding poor poker etiquette.
On the professional and amateur circuit, the tight-aggressive strategy is regarded as the most effective and dominant personality. This is because if you’re not playing aggressively, you’re missing out on half of the game. It’s not only about winning when your hand is strong but also about being able to bluff and scare weaker opponents when your cards are worse.
What type of player am I?
To find out what type of poker player you are, it’s important to practice and monitor how you play each round when dealt either a strong or weak hand. Answer questions such as: Do you bet and raise a lot? When dealt a weak hand, do you still bet and raise? Do you play every round? Do you fold a lot? Do you ever raise pre-flop?
By going over these questions and reading over the four different personalities, you’ll be able to put yourself in one of these categories. Identifying your poker personality is a great place to start and if you’re unhappy with the category you fall under, you can change your style of play to mirror your preferred personality. The same process applies to identifying opponents’ personalities, allowing you to categorize them more easily and strongly predict their hands.
Play on BetMGM
Want to play live poker online? Look no further. Whether you’re a beginner or professional, BetMGM offers an array of casino table games from where you can start your poker journey. Understand your poker personality and get to grips with players around you, then register today and choose from our many online poker tournaments and classic Texas Hold’em poker games.