There are plenty of ways to play poker, that’s for sure. Strategies and theories will abound in a game that is this popular with this much history. However, it’s a players style of play which will tell you more about how you need to play them. For instance, are they a super tight player?
Very measured and only willing to play out on certain hands? Do they ever bluff? Or do they simply wait, wait, and wait some more for a power hand? Players new to poker are usually encouraged to play tight and the rule “tight is right” has been uttered thousands of times in the past. In fact, many experienced poker players prefer to play tight because, if it is done correctly, it can be hard to beat.
The only way to be successful at poker is to know when someone is playing tight and how to beat them. Here, we’ll teach you how to do just that.
In order to beat someone playing tight, you first must be able to identify when they are playing tight. Playing tight is when a player, for the most part, is extra careful when they select their starting hands. These tight players will usually only play on pairs, strong aces and kings, and suited, well-connected hands such a J-10 or K-Q.
The reason many play tight is because it becomes much easier to play your hand after the flop. After all, if you are solely playing strong hands before the flop, you’re more likely going to be able to determine how likely it is you’ll have the best hand down the line. In short, a tight poker player limits their hands to only a set of strong hands to eliminate any guesswork.
Identify Tight Poker
Now that you know why poker players will play tight, it is important to identify just how they are playing. That is, are they tight-aggressive or tight-passive and this you can tell be how they are wagering preflop. Good hands are good hands and if a tight player has one, they are going to play it out.
The question is, how do they play it out? Are they betting heavy preflop? Or just staying in the game? Did they raise after the flop or did they check? And remember, this is more of a natural style as opposed to a strategy. Poker players are who they are and can’t fight it. Identifying them for what they are will make it easier to beat them.
How to Beat a Tight Poker Player
Firstly, it is important to know that a tight poker player going passive is not a good move. These types of players are playing not to lose which is a terrible strategy and style. These players are easy to identify and easy to beat. Let them be their own undoing.
So, that leaves us with the tight-aggressive player as a threat to our stack and they can be handled with a tit-for-tat strategy. They say the easiest way to beat someone is to employ the opposite strategy as them so if you are playing a tight-aggressive player, you’ll definitely want to loosen up a bit. This will expose you to a wider range of hands than the tight player thus allowing you to be more aggressive.
Mixing up your raises on loose play also will keep a tight-aggressive player at bay. Be sure to remember, tight players are not bluffers, they are only in because they are holding something so expect a raise of the river and play it out accordingly.
Who are Tight Players?
Remember, playing tight is not usually a strategy. It’s usually a character trait which can become a flaw. The faster you can identify a tight player the better. Tight players are usually less experienced and never bluff. For any experienced poker player, there are times to play tight and times to play loose. Being able to mix up your patterns and stay open to different styles is key to playing successful poker.
There is an ebb and a flow to the game and the player able to not be identified as any specific type of player will usually be the most successful and win the most pots.
However, it is important to know that beating tight players is not easy as they have the discipline and wherewithal to sit and wait patiently for their preferred hand. After all, having a strong hand preflop usually means having a stronger hand on later streets. This can hurt you by trying too hard to make something happen and taking chances you normally wouldn’t take.
It is important to stay as disciplined as the tight player while staring them down. Carefully selecting your own optimal hands and using your opponent’s tight character traits against them is the best way to handle such play.