The key to poker success is observing your opponents and adapting to their playing style. Before looking at your cards and assessing your position, you must determine the type of opponents who are sitting at the table with you. For the sake of completeness, it is better to use statistics programs.
There are usually 4 large groups of players in poker:
- Tight passive (nits);
- Tight-aggressive (TAGs);
- Loose-passive (fish);
- Loose-aggressive (LAGs).
This division is rather general, so we will break these groups into smaller ones and talk about the features of playing 8 types of opponents in poker. Characteristics for players imply mainly the game at short-table cash (6-max).
As a poker player, the answering machine is very weak, but as a contender it is perfect. The answering machine is the goose that lays the golden eggs for the regulars. He loves to play any suited hand and all aces. For him, poker at https://ru.game-avtomatii.com is entertainment, and he also often plays in casinos. The answering machine hardly raises preflop, just limps or calls. Then he calls almost any flop and turn and only on the river thinks about folding, but out of curiosity often calls again. Some answering machines have high river aggression (> 3.0). They realize they have a weak hand and start betting in a desperate attempt to steal the pot. Therefore, if no draws are closed, get ready to play check / call against such answering machines. The answering machine's preflop raising range is extremely tight and very similar to nit opening ranges. He only raises the best hands and 3-bets high pairs and AK. The answering machine will never fold to 3-bet if he thinks he has a strong hand. Therefore, 3-bet more with AA, KK and QQ: bet not the standard 9bb, but immediately 11-13bb. If such a player limps, then isolate him in position with his entire opening range, because the answering machine makes huge mistakes postflop. Your task is to take his stack before another regular does. The answering machine almost never raises postflop without two pair or better, so fold your overpair or TPTK to his aggression (even if it was a min-raise). Typical VPIP autoresponder stats: 45-70% PFR: 5-10% Aggression: <1.5 3-bet: 1-4% Fold to 3-bet: almost no fall Steel: 8-15% Fold to steal: 40- 60% Continuation Bet: 50-80% Fold to Continuation Bet: 30-60% Pass to Showdown (WTSD): 30-35%.
Such a fish plays better than an answering machine. He has a little knowledge of strategy and understands that calling a raise with Jh-3h is a bad idea, so he plays narrower ranges and makes it more aggressive than an answering machine. However, he still calls too many dominated hands and weak draws. Postflop, the passive fish shows aggression only with the nuts, and on the river it is able to bet with a missed draw. On the flop, he often calls with many weak hands (for example, middle or bottom pair), so when the A, K or Q comes out on the turn, he needs to be hit with a second barrel: these cards will often scare him and he will fold a marginal hand. Typical passive fish VPIP stats: 30-35% PFR: 15-20% Aggression: <2 3-bet: 3-5% Fold to 3-bet: 30-55% Steel: 15-30% Fold to steel: 50- 65% Continuation Bet: 50-80% Fold to Continuation Bet: 40-65% Pass to Showdown (WTSD): 25-30%.
Playing against maniacs is like riding a roller coaster: scary and exciting at the same time. Don't be afraid to expand your opening ranges against them, and also call their all-in looser. The maniac loves to bet all three streets postflop. He hopes that he will make his opponent fold by betting. So give the maniac a chance to bluff. Another tweak: Don't call his preflop raises with low connectors. The maniac will often make pot-bets and you won't have the pot odds you need to draw. Maniac raises are best called with high cards and then with TPTK to call his continuation bets. It's not always convenient to play against maniacs: they spin the variance too much, so don't bluff against them. If you raise and hit the flop well, often the maniac will have nothing and will start bluffing. Therefore, do not force events: the opponent will give up his stack himself. Remember: Maniacs tend to slowplay the nuts and bet weak hands, so play carefully if you see a check. Typical maniac stats VPIP: 50-90% PFR: 30-60% Aggression: <3.5 3-bet: 10-30% Fold to 3-bet: 20-40% Steel: 40-90% Fold to steal: 20 -50% Continuous bet: 70-100% Fold to continuation bet: 20-40% Pass to showdown (WTSD): 25-35%.
The nit is, in fact, another kind of fish, only it goes to the other extreme - playing too narrow ranges. He plays so few hands that you hardly notice his presence at the table. This has two big advantages: preflop against nits, you can steal with any two cards (any2), and postflop you can continually cbet almost 100% of the time. The nit opens very tight, so it is profitable to set mine and call with suited connectors against it. You will have excellent reverse implied odds: a nit that has managed to wait for pocket aces or kings will have a hard time folding an overpair. Nit is not the most profitable opponent, but he will not cause big problems either. His stack will slowly but steadily melt away. Typical nit stats VPIP: 10-13% PFR: 5-8% Aggression: <3.0 3-bet: 3-5% Fold to 3-bet: 30-50% Steel: 10-20% Fold to steel: 80 -90% Continuous bet: 60-80% Fold to continuation bet: 65-75% Pass to showdown (WTSD): 20-25%.
This player has just started playing poker. He read several articles on strategy and enthusiastically threw himself into the wild jungle of online poker. But the lack of experience affects his play: the ABC-regular is often passive and, despite good preflop play, he makes a lot of expensive mistakes postflop. He plays predictably and often gives away the strength of his hand through bet-sizing. Not the strongest opponent, but also not Santa Claus with a bag of money. Typical ABC statistics VPIP: 16-21% PFR: 10-18% Aggression: <3.0 3-bet: 3-7% Fold to 3-bet: 60-80% Steel: 15-20% Fold to steal: 80-90% Continuous bet: 50-75% Fold to continuation bet: 60-75% Pass to showdown (WTSD): 20-25%.
Overly aggressive regular
These opponents understand the importance of aggression in poker, but they often go too far. Usually they play MTT on a regular basis, not cash, or just play tilt. An overly aggressive regular does not know the deep stack strategy well and makes a bet on continuation bets and continuation bets of other people, trying to get a fold from the opponent. The problem is that such a player chooses boards that are unsuitable in texture for his aggression. If a “scary” card comes up on the turn, he almost always puts the second barrel. However, not all of them continue to bet, so it's important to look at their aggression score on each street. For some of them, the aggression drops a lot on the river. For example, indicators of aggression can be as follows: flop - 5.5; turn - 3.5; river - 1.0. For the other part of the players, the aggression indicator will be almost the same for all streets. Naturally, against the second group of overly aggressive regulars, you should check / call the river more often. In steal / resteal situations, these opponents will have a high 4-bet (above 7%), so narrow your 3-bet range, but widen your 5-bet shoving range (include TT + and AQs + hands and add a couple of bluffs like A2s- A5s). Since they will continually raise continuation bets and float a lot, you should play more Broadway hands and fewer connectors against them. If an overly aggressive reg is sitting in the blinds, and you have QQ + and AK, then after a raise by a player sitting, for example, on EP or MP, do not 3-bet, but just call. This will provoke a squeeze from the aggressive blind. Typical statistics for an overly aggressive regular VPIP: 22-30% PFR: 19-27% Aggression: 3.5-5.5 3-bet: 9-20% Fold to 3-bet: 35-50% Steel: 40-60% Fold to steal: 60-75% Continuous Bet: 75-85% Fold to Continuous Bet: 30-50% Pass to Showdown (WTSD): 25-35%.
Tight aggressive shark
This type of opponent paired with LAG is one of the most unpleasant in poker. The TAG has a balanced strategy, which makes it difficult to operate. If there are 2-3 TAGs sitting at the table and there is not a single large fish, then leave immediately. The TAG knows where the fold button is. Even if you manage to bluff him a couple of times, in the long run you still won't beat him at https://ru.game-avtomatii.com/play-money: TAG will quickly adapt to your aggression and find counter-weapons. Typical stats of a tight aggressive player VPIP: 20-25% PFR: 18-23% Aggression: 3.0-4.5 3-bet: 7-12% Fold to 3-bet: 55-65% Steel: 30-45% Fold to steal: 55-65% Continuous bet: 65-75% Fold to continuation bet: 55-65% Pass to showdown (WTSD): 20-25%.
Such a player, unlike TAG, sometimes abuses aggression, especially at a weak table. LAS tries to confuse and exploit opponents, but it still has a fairly balanced game and is a strong and difficult opponent. The LAG style is quite volatile and requires a lot of postflop skill. Typical Loose Aggressive Player Stats VPIP: 24-30% PFR: 22-27% Aggression: 3.5-5.0 3-bet: 9-15% Fold to 3-bet: 50-60% Steel: 45-55% Fold to Steel: 65-70% Continuous bet: 70-80% Fold to continuation bet: 45-65% Pass to showdown (WTSD): 20-25%
Always keep in mind that these are guidelines only. Each player is individual and has its own patterns and characteristics. The more hands you have on your opponent, the more accurately you can determine his type. At 300 hands, an answering machine can look like a maniac, and a LAS like a nit. Experience, intuition and statistics will help you to more accurately determine the type of opponent and choose the correct line of play against him.