Poker is a social game where your opponent’s personality is as important as the cards they may be holding. Every poker player you’ll come across has a certain archetype which describes their play style.
Master those archetypes, and you’ll find you can win over those players easier than before. Some of these types are a lot more common than others, but you’ll have to face them all sooner or later. Here are the types of poker players you can find on a poker table.
The calling station, also known as the fish, is a player who always calls bets and almost never raises. The fish rarely raises, even if his hand is strong, and keeps calling to play it safe.
Calling stations attempt to compensate for their lack of skill with pure luck, which never works. You will often hear them complaining about their “bad luck”, even though they don’t know how to fold when they hit a flop. Fishes are as old as poker itself.
The rock is the opposite of the calling station. Rocks are players who won’t take risks and will only play with the best combinations in the top range.
The rock will wait and wait for those rare premium hands, ignoring any cards which aren’t kings, queens or aces. So, if a rock raises you, you should be certain they are holding an ultra-premium hand.
A noob is a new player who refuses to learn and improve. Noobs are at the bottom of the feeding chain and will lose more often than any other player. As long as they won’t improve, they will remain at the bottom.
Noobs will rely on “beginner’s luck” or some random poker guide they found, hoping to win big with no effort. Some noobs will turn into fishes in time, where they develop their own parochial approach to always call bets.
Newbies are new players who are eager to improve. They are the improved version of noobs. Newbies may become amazing players with practice and guidance.
Some newbies may be extremely intelligent players who compensate for their lack of experience with sheer skill, such as card counting. Needless to say, all great players started out as newbies, so don’t underestimate them.
Maniacs are the real wild dogs of poker. These are the players who play almost all their hands and keep raising. Some maniacs are simply drunk, while others are not afraid to lose a lot of money to have some action-packed fun.
A maniac can cause chaos in a table, but they can also turn a boring game of rocks into a thrilling adventure. With some luck, a maniac can tilt the table and make insane profits, but the risk they take is prohibitively high as well.
Weak tight players are more reasonable and clever versions of rocks. You will find many of them on a table. These players are experienced, but can’t handle aggressive players and will fold more often than the rest.
Weak tight players often come with a respectable money roll on the table, so they try to protect it by playing defensive.
LAG stands for loose aggressive. LAG players play many hands aggressively. Though not nearly as reckless as maniacs, LAGs are nonetheless aggressive in their plays and will raise and re-raise when they see an opening.
You will find several LAGs and TAGs on a good table, often competing with their strategies as much as with their hands. An experienced LAG will take advantage of tilts and will defeat opponents who underestimate his loose starting hands. If you face a LAG, try to use bluffs and don’t face them head-on in marginal plays.
TAG stands for tight aggressive. These are the snipers of poker. Players who select their hands carefully and then play aggressively to win.
TAGs choose their battles carefully and cover their blind spots. Instead of fighting with a TAG, focus on the fishes and the noobs who are easier targets. Most players aspire to become efficient TAGs.
ABC poker players do everything by the book. They are the most straightforward and predictable of players. This doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous.
ABCs know all the rules and use poker jargon on every opportunity. Their predictability can become a weakness to be exploited by LAGs and TAGs. An experienced aggressive player will dominate an ABC in any experienced table.
Sharks are the strongest of all the players. Able to destroy fishes and rocks in a few rounds, these are the real pros to be afraid of. Sharks have mastered their poker face and know all facets of the game inside and out.
A shark will change their strategy and even their apparent personality if it suits their plans. You can never really guess what they are thinking and bluffing rarely works on a shark. They are excellent readers who will identify the fishes, but they won’t go for the kill straight away.
The real strength of a shark is they can milk aggressive players and make everyone doubt their own strategies. A shark will plant doubts in your mind, making you think you might be a rock or a fish. Just focus on your strategy and try to befriend the pros to learn from their experience.
Knowing the Types of Poker Players is Just the Beginning
Poker is a game of people which takes years to master. If you want to master the perfect poker face, overcome all types of poker players, or seek to explore other amazing games, such as Baccarat, Crap, and BlackJack, you’ve come to the right place.
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