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Types Of Poker Players
by Sher Matsen

The theory of evolution was thanks to Darwin spending a great deal of time by himself on a secluded island poking and examining the local creatures while he formed opinions about where the species came from including us lowly human beings. Had he spent those years in stranded in Las Vegas the theory of evolution might have been a result of examining and poking players. And boy what a different tell it would tell!

No one can really tell you how the evolution of poker players actually came about. Not even Darwin because he chose the secluded island rather than the far mor entertaining Vegas players. Perhaps the types of poker players that have evolved began with the caveman. As he huddled in his cave with his other cavemen betting twigs while using cards chiseled from rock. Now there's a challenge!


What we do know is that there are two distinct species of poker players that can be seen hanging around the casino which is their natural habitat. After all a poker player is as natural to the casino as a caveman was to his club.

The first type of player you can spot is called the loose player. When most people think of a loose player their mind conjures up images of a sexy Madonna with her big red lips and short skirt. That may be an accurate image of loose but not in the poker world.

Loose poker players are actually very aggressive. A loose player will take a lot of risks while chasing the big rewards at the end of the rainbow or should we say poker table. They play a lot of hands and are less likely to fold when challenged. But there are also two kinds of “Loose Players.”

There is the passive loose player who regards pot odds as only a friendly suggestion. They seldom fold and will continue to call regardless of the strength of their hand, or what they believe the strength of their opponents hand is. They are the perfect example of the eternal optimists believing that at any moment any two cards can make the difference. What makes them passive is that they will call almost every time, but rarely raise. They will stay in the game to the bitter end, but do not add that extra element of risk. Almost as a rule, these folks don’t bluff well. Passive-loose players are die a slow financial death at the table but you have to give them an A for their attitude.

The other type of loose player is an aggressive loose player. They are the Spiderman of the the poker world. They are extremely aggressive and see raising as form of worship to the card gods. These players have no problem raising before and after the flop, because they attempt to bully the table. Poker players with this style are very good at winning a lot of small pots but when it comes to the big pots and the big bucks they tend to loose their momentum and peter out.

The second type of poker player is the tight player who doesn’t play a lot of hands and who always folds when circumstances and pot odds are not in their favor. They do not thrive on a steady diet of raises. They much prefer to call or fold while picking their fights to mount a vigorous offensive. There are also two types of tight players.

A passive tight player is genetically programmed to avoid risk. Even when the hand is big they are more likely to call then ever think about raising. You will die of boredom if you are waiting for a passive tight player to bluff. There's just no bluff in this type of player. Instead they play a very straightforward game and fold very easily.

An aggressive tight player is quite the opposite. This is the Rambo of poker, believing heavily in picking their own poison. They will fold when the odds are not in their favor. They will see the flop with a decent hand, and that is when their more aggressive tendencies will emerge. They will go after the money at that point.

It is a good idea to identify the types of poker players at your table. Then you can adapt to the style of the table. You may find yourself morphing into one of these types over time. But I'm telling you being a chameleon will benefit you a lot more in the long run. Leave the psychology to the other guys and gals!


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