Handling different Playing Styles of Poker Players

There are four types of poker playing styles: Loose passive, tight passive, loose aggressive and tight aggressive. All of which can be used in a combination to make your way through a poker tournament. But when faced with a situation of tackling the various playing styles in the final table of a poker tournament, then you have to be a very good player yourself. The most likely poker playing styles you will encounter at the final tables of a poker tournament are tight aggressive, loose aggressive and tight passive; the loose passive players will most definitely be eliminated by now.

How to play a tight aggressive player at a final table?

Tight aggressive (TAG) players are those who know which starting hands to play, when to raise and how to play out a hand. These are the most likely opponents in the dying stages of a poker tournament and are also the most worthy players. They are the toughest to beat and a good poker strategy is needed to defeat them.

  • Play with good hands only: The TAG player plays few, selected hands and you need to know when to call them. So play them in late position with good hands only.
  • Re-raise them: When you are button against a TAG player who has raised you, re-raise him to access his cards. If he calls the raise you can be sure he has pocket Ace/kings/royals. If you have the mettle to tackle such cards then see the flop and decide.
  • Use the continuation bet: In a raised pot, playing against the TAG, always use the continuation bet as a weapon. It isn’t likely that the TAG flops his pair or set and a good weighted continuation bet can tell you where he stands.
  • Know when to fold: Always remember that TAG’s are tight players who won’t keep chasing and thus if they keep calling/raising and your cards don’t have the strength then it is best to fold. Never confuse them for players who will wait for luck to turn.

How to play a loose aggressive player at a final table?

Loose Aggressive players (LAG) are not very selective of the poker hands they want to play but will be very aggressive on the table. Such players are always feared for their aggression and you never know how to spot their bluff when they go all in. some poker tips to be kept in mind when facing them in the end of a poker tournament:

  • Wait for your premium hands: You know that the loose aggressive player will call a lot thus always wait for your good hands. Play with him your best cards and they will definitely make you richer by virtue of their gaming style.
  • Call for information: You know that the LAG will call a lot of hands. But every now and then, call them just to check if they are mixing their playing styles. It will be good to have a showdown and getting to see their cards and judge if they are still a LAG.
  • Early position raising: If you are sitting before a LAG, then always check your premium cards and then check raise after he has raised. This will pay you out more when you have pocket aces/kings/big slick etc.

How to play a tight passive player in a poker tournament?

The Tight passive players are those who know which starting poker hands to play but aren’t risk takers. They are happier to check than raise even when given the best cards. These players are the easiest to read but sometimes very difficult to handle in the end stages of a poker tournament. Here are some poker tips to play them:

  • Beware when they raise: The tight passive players will seldom raise you. But when they do, you better know your card strength before calling. Never try to bluff such players as they only play strong poker hands.
  • Don’t call, re-raise them: Tight passive players always play with premium hands and don’t like to be raised. Simply calling them will not affect them so always re-raise them when your cards are strong.
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