Texas holdem is not just a card game it’s a people game too. Learning how to read players in texas holdem starts by learning their strengths and weaknesses. Most people fall directly into one of the following categories. Before we go into detail let’s look at the basics. Then a description of each player type and their behaviors.
The four common categories can be seen by using a combination of the descriptions below.
Loose opponents frequently play too many hands and go to far with them.
Tight opponents are very selective of which hands to play and how far to go with them.
Passive opponents typically only call a previously made bet, almost never raise, and rarely bet when involved in a hand.
Aggressive opponents are betting and raising for the most part when involved in a hand, although sometimes just calling.
Combining the above descriptions we can easily come up with four typical player categories that are easy to read.
This is the easiest opponent to beat in holdem. They play almost every hand and are easy to read. They will usually only bet or raise once they have a strong hand. Any other time they will just call and almost never bluff. These types of opponents are also known as calling stations.
Although there are successful loose-aggressive players, most are not. Especially at the lower to middle limit cash games where people commonly going to far with hands and are not easily bluffed. Loose-aggressive opponents can really reek havoc at the table but should be welcome since they create action. Using a loose-aggressive approach effectively is much like walking a tight rope. These types of opponents are also known as maniac
Once an opponent of this type is identified avoiding confrontations with them should be a priority. Although this is a winning approach to holdem most are too predictable and can easily be manipulated, with a bluff for example. This is the downfall to this approach. These types of opponents are also known as rocks.
Although some of the playing styles above will win money, the correct approach to any holdem game is not using the same style of play too often. This will keep opponents off balance and unable to adjust.
The two best styles are tight-aggressive and loose-aggressive. A combination of the two is the correct and most profitable winning strategy for holdem games.
Remember that players may change categories quickly. They may intentionally change their playing style in order to add deception to their game. When trying to read players keep in mind they may also change for other reasons.
A tight player may become loose after losing a big hand and going on tilt.
Or a loose player may win big and start playing tight to ensure taking home the winnings.
By paying attention to what’s happening you can anticipate dramatic changes and read players in texas holdem with deadly accuracy.