Loose Players And Tight Players In Texas Holdem Poker


Jan 2011

POSTED IN Poker Tips | no comments

Loose play in Texas Holdem Poker is sometimes like yawning: Contagious to observers.

A definition of loose or tight play in Texas Holdem is like two men trying to tell what they think a beautiful lady looks like.  Namely, the explanation is in the eye of the beholder.  A general rule would be: A tight player starts the hand with a high pair or with an AK.  A loose player would start the hand with low cards or unsuited K3.  The tight player raises when he feels he has the best of it.  The loose player may raise on the come more than he should; he may call too much on inside straights or full house draws.  He plays too many hands that depend on luck to win and not according to what he currently holds.

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Both types of players can hurt you, but the tight player is probably easier to play against.  It is usually the tight player you can identify from the Flop and the betting.  The loose player is not easy to read as he may hold anything at any time.  It is his unpredictable play that makes him more dangerous in many hands.  He may not fold when bet against, like the tight player would.  The loose player may play for the miracle draw — and when he gets it, he puts a bad beat on you.  The tight player will only raise when he thinks he has a sure thing.  This gives you an advantage as you can get out of the hand or at least not re-raise.

Loose players have a small edge in that when they raise, you don’t know if they have a hand or are just trying to win by betting.  Since their starting hand can be any two cards, an odd flop may fit their hand very well.  This makes playing a big pair against them a more risky proposition than it would be with any tight player. Loose players are great pot builders, since they are likely to call bets more freely.

Pot-building players make large pots possible, and may even cause some tight players to loosen up so they can try to catch some of these larger pots.  This kind of loose game is great if your hands are holding up, but terrible if they are not.  A loose game can get very expensive if you’re constantly coming in second best at the end.  In the scheme of things most players would rather play in a loose game, as the pot sizes will offset some weird plays and bad beats.  Solid play is still the name of the game in a loosely played Holdem game.

Players who talk a lot while playing sometimes have a very easy tell to read.  They may get very quiet when they have a good hand.  People who chew gum stop chewing when their hand is better than average.  Chip handling and eye contact are other tells that some players are guilty of when playing a good hand.  Study of the players at the table can pick up these clues to the power of their hand.  This is very good information to act upon or at least play against.  Knowing when a player is strong or weak is the kind of information that can make you money.

Reading your opponents is a winning strategy for players who wish to improve.  This knowledge will let you know when to run a bluff or when to push the hand and raise every chance you’re given.  Aggressive play is rewarded in Holdem.

Scared play is much easier to play against — and beat.  Play hard, not weak, and play with your brain.  The best hand does not always rake in the pot.~~

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