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If you have a firm grasp of different poker player styles, it enables you to fine tune your decision-making pre-flop and post-flop in an optimal way. How you play against a tight aggressive player is very different to how you play against a loose passive player. The key to becoming an advanced poker player and to begin playing the person, not your cards, is to understand how these different poker styles interact with each other.

If we consider the elements which make up all the poker poker styles, the two most common ones for beginning players are how many hands a player plays and how aggressively or passively they play those hands. If a player plays many hands they are considered to be loose and if they play few hands they are considered to be tight. If a player bets a lot they are considered to be aggressive, and if they don’t bet a lot, they are considered to be passive.

The player types

On this scale, we therefore have four basic player types. They are tight aggressive, loose aggressive, tight passive and loose passive. The players you want to play against or the loose passive players. The players you want to avoid are the tight aggressive players. As you become more advanced as the stakes grow higher, you will want to avoid the loose aggressive players if they are excellent players. The reason is that there are ranges or so wide that it is very difficult to put them on a specific hand.

The evolution of poker player styles from beginner to expert is normally like this….beginning players start off as loose passive. They realise they are playing too many hands and become tight passive. At this point, they realise that their opponents are catching cards against them that are costing them a lot of pots because they are not protecting their hands properly. This makes the player moved into a tight aggressive poker player style.

Don’t be predictable

At this stage, the player realises that they are becoming predictable against good players and so they increases the number of hands which they play in order to throw off their opponents. In this way, the final evolution of playing styles is loose aggressive. Expert players are able to quickly change between all of these styles as the situation demands it. This is known as changing gears and is the final stage of being an expert poker player.

How should beginners play?

For beginning players, it is important that you try to be as aggressive as possible. The reason is that when you are aggressive, you have two ways of winning the pot … when you hit your outs and when your opponent folds against you. In addition, being aggressive stops your opponents from playing a lot of drawing hands against you. This protects the pot when you have the best hand but where your opponent could hit a miracle card that will beat you.

The easiest way for beginners to increase their profits is to tighten up on their pre-flop hand ranges and to bet more aggressively when they hit their cards. No one said it was rocket science!

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