Poker, along with being a classic card game, is also a game of observation. Therefore, it is an important skill to understand the playing styles in order to beat your opponent. Observation is the key factor in winning a game in poker. Remember, at a poker table, every move is strategic. If you are familiar with the poker playing styles and the types of poker players, there is a fair chance that you will win the game.
In this blog, we will learn about various playing styles and the pros and cons of each style.
There are typically 4 types of Poker Playing Styles:
- The Tight Aggressive
- The Loose Aggressive (Maniac)
- Tight Passive (Rock)
- Loose Passive (Calling Stations)
Types of Poker Playing Styles
1. The Tight Aggressive (TAG)
A move that is often effective, the tight-aggressive player doesn’t play many pots. They show selectiveness while playing pots they pre-flop, but when they do, they go full in. Tight-aggressive players will play their cards strongly. The tight-aggressive tag comes for the players who wait for the best opportunities to play. Many players who go for this move are experienced players and familiar with poker’s nuances. This style is particularly common where you’re likely to earn cash or prizes in online poker. The tight-aggressive style is a frequently used move, and as a poker player, you should recognize this move more effectively than the others. This style can also be a veil for more professional players who know more about poker and have knowledge of different playing styles.
2. The Loose Aggressive (LAG)
The Loose Aggressive (LAG) is a term commonly associated with players on the losing side of the game, although loose aggressive playing style gets you more money than TAGs. Also, the loose-aggressive style requires more skill than the TAG; hence experienced players also go for this one. In terms of similarities with TAG, the post-flop is preferred more towards aggression. A loose-aggressive player will care more about staying in the game rather than earning. Playing more hands during the pre-flop is the default trait of a loose aggressive player.
3. Tight Passive (Rock)
Another common strategy used by novice players is that tight passive players will play a narrow range of starting hands but never play them aggressively. Tight passive players, also known as the “hyper nit,” will only play the top few percent of hands pre-flop and continue post-flop if they have top pair beat.
The tight passive or the “rock” style is slightly more aggressive than the TAG style. In the world of online poker, you can expect to see this style more often. In some cases, tight passive players also tried the LAG and the TAG styles but sometimes chose to survive in the game.
In many cases, a tight passive player isn’t considered a more skilled one, but still, the player has a chance of winning a game.
4. The Loose Passive (Calling Station)
Loose passive players usually play a wide range of hands but won’t play any hand aggressively. A loose player will usually be limping in pre-flop and be doing a lot of calling/checking post-flop. You will only find weaker players trying out this type of strategy. Loose players don’t fold a lot and call a lot of hands post-flop. However, loose passive players need to change their passive style.
Another characteristic of passive poker players is that they like lots of pots. They will remain in hand whenever they hit any of it, however marginal. They hardly make any aggressive moves and are okay playing passive. In online gaming, they are the easiest targets and can be spotted.
The Pros and Cons of Each Style
In this section, we will be discussing the pros and cons of each style. Always assess the situation at the poker table and make your move.
1.TAG (Tight Aggressive):
Pros: Has the potential to carry out the best skill to profit ratio
Cons: Can be a bit boring than Loose Aggressive Playing
2.LAG (Loose Aggressive):
Pros: Can potentially make more money than the TAG
Cons: Requires significantly more skills than playing TAG; challenging to pick this skill.
Pros: Having small losses means you can play for longer
Cons: Playing passively for a long time means you will end up losing in the long run
Pros: Similar to Tight Passive, it’s a move to stay longer in the game
Cons: Online gaming or otherwise, this is one strategy you should avoid playing for long
Which poker playing style is the best?
Generally, there is always an advantage when you can play aggressively. A solid strategy with some aggressive playing is usually rewarded with a profit. However, some experienced players play some loose-aggressive styles and win more money than the tight-aggressive players.
For an in-depth analysis of the playing styles, read Aggresive vs Passive Poker Strategy
Ultimately, it all depends on how the game is and how the players are. If all the players are choosing the aggressive style, it’s okay to let loose sometimes. So the best way is to observe- again, underline the word- observe the poker table and play accordingly.